Students at St. Mary’s College prepare to make a big impact during Green Cup 2015
Beginning April 5, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland community will tackle the problem of energy and water conservation. For three weeks, students, faculty, and staff will participate in Green Cup by changing their behavior to save electricity and water, such as taking shorter showers, and powering down their residence hall rooms, offices and classrooms when they leave.
Green Cup is part of Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), the largest electricity and water reduction competition program for colleges and universities in the world. The annual competition brings together students and staff from participating schools to host educational and fun events that have an immediate and lasting impact not only on schools’ carbon emissions, but also on campus culture. CCN is jointly organized by the U.S. Green Building Council, Lucid, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Alliance to Save Energy.
This is St. Mary’s College’s third semester holding the Green Cup competition and first year participating in Campus Conservation Nationals. This year, St. Mary’s College’s Sustainability Office has set a conservation goal to achieve a 5% reduction in electricity use.
The Sustainability Office is organizing this event on campus with the help of Professor Barry Muchnick’s sustainability practicum class and the leadership honor society on campus, Omicron Delta Kappa. “I’m excited to have Green Cup coming back this semester in such a big way,” said Kate Cowart ’15, the lead organizer of the competition. “It provides a way to ‘speak’ to the small things anyone can do to conserve energy. They really do add up.”
Competition standings will be tracked and shared live through St. Mary’s College’s Building Dashboard website, powered by Lucid’s BuildingOS, where real-time electricity consumption data for 12 participating buildings on campus can be viewed by anyone. This semester, there will be three simultaneous competitions: one between traditional residence halls, one between suite-style housing, and one between the townhouses.
The college’s students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to take part in this year’s Green Cup by shifting their behavior to reduce their electricity and water use. Some examples of how to lower resource consumption are as follows:
- Turning off the lights when leaving a room
- Taking shorter showers
- Unplugging appliances & electronics when not in use
- Using the cold water setting when washing clothes
- Using natural sunlight during the day
- In campus townhouses, turning down the thermostat when possible
Every Friday during the competition period, students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Sustainability Office at the Campus Center to learn more about the impacts of energy use through hands-on projects. Results of the competition and the competition winners will be announced April 26 during the closing reception outside of the Waring Commons apartments on campus.
To read more about St. Mary’s College’s sustainability efforts, visit http://www.smcm.edu/sustainability.