Willard, GREEN House win Green Cup

    After six weeks of short showers and darkened halls, the results are in.

    Green Cup, a competition between residence halls to conserve energy and water, announced the competition winners on its Web site Tuesday.

    The results listed the top three residence halls in two categories. Willard placed first among dorms with dining halls, followed by Elder and 1835 Hinman. Among dorms without dining halls, GREEN House placed first, followed by Kemper and Shepard.

    According to Tom Ledolter, a McCormick senior from Engineers for a Sustainable World, Willard reduced its water consumption by about 2 percent, but reduced its electricity consumption by more than 30 percent. GREEN House reduced its water consumption by 70 percent and its electricity consumption by almost 27 percent.

    The competition, which took place from Jan. 20 to March 3, used a point system based on participation and on reductions in per-capita energy and water usage to evaluate the residence halls.

    While residents were encouraged to conserve energy and water, Green Cup co-chair Elisa Redish said the larger goal of the competition was to increase environmental awareness.

    “We try to give people tools for their everyday lives,” said Redish, a Communication sophomore. “We’re trying to expose people to environmental issues.”

    GREEN House, the winner of the non-dining hall category, held activities in the dorm to encourage participation. GREEN House social chair Kim Castle said these activities included competitions for the shortest shower.

    “We have shower timers in the dorm, so we asked people to write down their time,” said Castle, a Communication sophomore. “The person with the shortest average time got a prize during munchies.”

    Castle said GREEN House is hoping to continue some of the changes made during Green Cup.

    “A lot of things we did were pretty common-sense initiatives,” she said. “They weren’t difficult to incorporate into our everyday lives.”

    In Willard, which won in its category last year, dorm executives encouraged energy and water conservation and ran a recycling program, according to outgoing Willard president Ian Rinehart.

    “Everyone just pitched in, doing little things, and it made a big difference,” said Rinehart, a Weinberg sophomore.

    Redish said the winning dorms previously received Starbucks gift certificates for leading the competition and will receive a pizza party Thursday night.

    Shepard resident Peter Carlson said he likes the idea of Green Cup, but thinks students focused too much on the competition.

    “It seems the competition was all that people cared about,” said Carlson, a Weinberg freshman. “People didn’t keep the end goal of saving the environment in mind.”

    Carlson, who took shorter showers and air-dried some of his clothes, said he was disappointed with Shepard’s participation.

    “I don’t think we deserved anything higher [than third place],” he said. “There were still people who … took 40-minute showers and didn’t care at all.”

    Weinberg freshman Bill Russell, also a Shepard resident, participated in Green Cup by unplugging his refrigerator, turning off lights and taking shorter showers. Russell said some of these actions have become habits for him.

    “I found that having my fridge off wasn’t a big deal, so next year I probably won’t have a fridge,” he said.

    However, Russell said he is hesitant about the long-term impact of Green Cup.

    “Just because people change attitudes for six weeks — it seems like a long time, but in the grand scheme, it’s really not,” he said. “It’s too soon to tell.”


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