We’re halfway done with the 2012 Green Cup Challenge, where dorms compete for a month to reduce their electricity consumption compared to an early January baseline value. This is a competition where everyone wins – the school saves money, the mountains in West Virginia don’t get blasted away to extract coal, students learn how to conserve resources, and the climate doesn’t suffer quite so many greenhouse gases emitted from the power plants. So far during this competition, Deerfield has a 3.6% reduction in total for all dorms, just edging out our competitors at Phillip’s Andover. You can track the success of your dorm’s efforts in real-time on the campus energy dashboard. If you turn off all the lights in the common room, or turn off that entertainment center, you should be able to view it quickly on the dashboard.
This week’s “greenest” boys dorm was Chapin Hall, with a running total of 11.8% reduction of electricity usage compared to our baseline. For the second week in a row, the greenest girls dorm was Harold Smith, with an outstanding total reduction of 54.9% from baseline. Honorable mention goes to the girls from Scaife, who have a running total of 17.4% reduction. Chapin and Harold Smith win the weekly prize of a dress-down day for their efforts (Tuesday, February 7th).
For week 3 of the Green Cup, there is a new way for dorms to earn a dress down day, in what I’m calling the “Harold Smith Rule” (because of their continued success). As before, you can be the top-conserving girls or boys dorm (Harold Smith and Chapin, this week). But new this week, any dorm that reduces their consumption for the week 20% or more below the baseline will also earn a dress down day. That is a big decrease, but when you consider that half of this week is the long winter weekend (unplug! unplug! unplug!), it should be achievable by dorms that work hard to conserve. I’m looking at you, Scaife. I’m looking at you, Louis Marx. I’m looking at you, Pocumtuck. Tell your friends! Now get out there and save energy!