Energy Competition Gets a Headstart

Each spring, students and faculty participate in a competition to raise awareness of energy consumption by reducing their own. The Office of Sustainability is already taking steps to make this year’s event a success.

“It is two weeks of baseline promoting followed by three weeks of competition,” said Shelly Janowski, sustainability program and policy analyst.

“Each year they come up with a theme,” Janowski said.

In past years the competition has been between schools, and she thought this was a good way to get students involved.

Simone LaMarche, a student working with the Office of Sustainability, has the task of increasing campus involvement and connecting other schools. By reaching out to the green advocates in residence halls and making connections early, she hopes this year’s event will be the biggest yet.

“More people need to get involved,” said facilities designer Cindy Von Gnetchen.

Last year, green advocates had their hands full.  Von Gnetchen hopes increased participation will bring improved results.

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association helped the cause in an unusual way.

“They used their bike that generated electricity to make smoothies in the DUC,” Von Gnetchen said.

In addition to those types of promotions, a plan is also in the works to have a traveling trophy reside in the hall that performs the best.

The competition itself is much more than making an effort. The quantified energy usage is what counts.

“You monitor each building’s energy consumption, and see who can lower it the most,” said LaMarche.

Reducing energy usage is a continuous effort, but promotions like these bring it to the forefront. While the event is a few months out, students and faculty are already putting in time and effort for it to be successful.


Harley Fredriksen
Environment Editor

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