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GCC_web_logoOver the next four weeks, student leaders will be reading meters across campus and reporting Milton’s energy usage on a weekly basis as part of the 2011 Green Cup Challenge. This student-driven, energy-saving enterprise encourages students—and teachers—to work collectively to achieve an aggregated electrical energy reduction of at least 7 percent at their school. The Challenge empowers students and stresses the importance of teamwork, while raising awareness about climate change and the importance of resource conservation.

“This project can be meaningful, and have lasting effects,” says faculty member James Mills, who is sponsoring this student-led endeavor.

The campus buildings that will count toward this Challenge include all eight residential houses, Wigglesworth Hall, Warren Hall, and the Student Center. Head monitors Kasey Caine and Robert Bedetti will read the buildings’ energy meters and submit the data to the Green Cup Challenge Web site.

Here is what you can do to reduce energy use:

·      Shut off the lights when you leave the room—classroom, bathroom, dorm room, locker room.

·      Shut off your computer: Simply putting your computer to “sleep” uses up to six watts of electricity per hour (plus the monitor’s usage), which adds up when we consider the number of computers on campus.

·      Unplug appliances: Even when not in use, everything from your phone charger to your Xbox wastes electricity when plugged in. Unplug your appliances when you’re not using them, or use a surge protector/power strip and simply turn the switch off.

·      Turn the heat down: In an average home, turning the heat down only one degreesaves about five percent in total energy usage.

The first Green Cup Challenge was launched in 2006, and by 2009, 120 schools across 24 states reduced their aggregated carbon emissions by 2.5 million pounds, the equivalent of taking 220 cars off the road for one year. The Challenge is open to any public, private, or independent K-12 school nationwide.

Check back for updates on Milton’s energy use reduction.