BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (1/29/13) – Western Kentucky University will participate in Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) 2013, a nationwide electricity and water use reduction competition among colleges and universities created by The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) through its Students Program, and in partnership with Lucid, Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation.
During the months of February, March and April, students at WKU and across the country will compete to achieve the greatest reductions in their residence halls over a three-week period determined by each campus. WKU will participate during the period of March 23 through April 12 and will utilize WKU’s web-based real-time energy feedback kiosk to track energy conservation progress during the competition.
WKU joins more than 200 universities and colleges nationwide that are registered for this program. In this competition, participating schools can choose to compete between buildings on their own campus and against a select group of peer institutions, with savings from all participants accumulating to reach a national challenge goal. Using Lucid’s Building Dashboard®, competitors will be able to instantly compare performance, share winning strategies and track standings among the leading schools and buildings. With generous support from United Technologies Corp., founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, CCN is an opportunity for students and staff to make immediate and lasting impacts on a school’s carbon emissions and campus culture.
“WKU students are pretty good at energy and water conservation,” said WKU Sustainability Coordinator Christian Ryan-Downing. “For the past five years, WKU residence halls have competed in an annual ‘Reduce Your Use’ competition to see which hall can conserve the most energy during a month long period. We are ready to take our competition to the next level, and have challenged University of Louisville, University of Kentucky and Berea College to a regional ‘Bluegrass Unplugged’ competition across the Commonwealth. They are all in.”
The WKU PowerSave interns -- Ashley McCloughan of Bowling Green; Sophia Sterlin of Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Mary Boothe of Georgetown; and Mary Newton of Owensboro -- are teaming up with Housing and Residence Life to plan awareness activities and events around the Campus Conservation Nationals. PowerSave Campus, a program sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy and TVA, is a student-driven energy efficiency education program that promotes careers in the field, generates actual energy savings, increases awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, and encourages academic infusion of sustainability concepts.
“Our team is very excited to be leading this campaign at WKU and we hope to engage students and faculty/staff alike in the competition,” said McCloughan, team manager of WKU PowerSave Campus. “And as for ‘Bluegrass Unplugged,’ this is our time to prove that WKU is a leading university in energy and water conservation and sustainability as a whole. Go TOPS!”
The competition will kick off with an acoustic concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Kentucky Museum, featuring local and student musicians unplugged. At 7 p.m. Feb. 19, the interns are hosting an open mic, with an energy and water conservation theme, in Downing University Center Auditorium. A mini-film series is planned for late February and early March with three film screenings to be announced. March 23 is the date for the global observance of Earth Hour, during which communities and individuals are encouraged to switch off their lights to raise awareness about climate change and energy conservation.
During the CCN 2012 competition, more than 208,000 students, living in 1,200 buildings at 100 colleges and universities, collectively reduced 1.7 megawatt-hours of electricity and 1.5 million gallons of water, saving schools $157,925 worth of electricity. The 2013 competition will build on that success and encourages students to brainstorm innovative solutions for how their school can save energy and cut costs.
“Campus Conservation Nationals provides the perfect venue for students to demonstrate how their collective drive, paired with individual action and responsibility, can have a significant impact on their campuses and communities,” said Pat Lane, USGBC Students program manager at the Center for Green Schools. “We are excited to build upon the success of previous years and empower a new corps of student organizers to be green building leaders.”
“The growth of CCN, and the incredible results from 2012, clearly demonstrate the desire and ability for people to change their behavior when it comes to using resources. With the right information and tools, we’ve seen students able the make a significant impact on energy and water use, and more importantly inspire their peers to take action,” said Andrew deCoriolis, director of marketing and engagement at Lucid. “We know that CCN has a lasting effect on campuses and we expect to double participation this year.”
CCN offers valuable educational opportunities, enabling students to teach themselves and their peers conservation behaviors as well as community and campus organizing skills. Above all, CCN is designed to empower the future generation of leaders, and foster a culture of conservation within campus communities. To learn more about the competition, visit www.CompeteToReduce.org.
Information provided by WKU
Graphics provided by Western Kentucky University
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