Powering Down: Pitzer College Competes in the 2013 Campus Conservation Nationals to Conserve Energy Use

power-down-challenge-off-light-switch[1]Claremont, Calif. (February 22, 2013) — Pitzer College is throwing its compact florescent bulbs into the ring for the Campus Conservation Nationals, a three-week competition among universities and colleges across the US to see which campus can conserve the most energy and water. The ultimate goal of the competition is to use a short-term challenge to change long-standing habits to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Starting on Monday, February 25, Phase I and Phase II of the Residential Life Project will go head-to-head to see which residential community can cut out the most kilowatts. Pitzer is also taking on Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College and Scripps College, as well as more than 200 colleges and universities around country. Pitzer and the Claremont Colleges are calling their version of the competition “PowerDown” and focusing exclusively on reducing electricity use.

Eco Center members and Pitzer’s Sustainability Coordinator Jesse Meisler-Abramson ’11 are asking Phase I and Phase II residents to sign a PowerDown pledge to make energy reduction part of their daily routine by adopting at least four energy-saving strategies that include:

  • Unplugging appliances when not in use, thereby reducing “phantom loads” that account for 5-10 percent of electricity use in the US
  • Using compact florescent or LED light bulbs
  • Turning off the lights when leaving a room and using natural lighting whenever possible
  • Relying more on windows and blinds than the thermostat to regulate room temperatures, and throwing on an extra layer of clothing instead of turning up the heat to stay warm
  • Only doing full loads of laundry, using cold water and line-drying clothes

Data from Pitzer’s utility meters will be entered into a dashboard that allows schools to compare performance, share strategies and track their relative standings.

The residential community that powers down the most will win $500 to fund green projects in the hall. The winner among participating Claremont Colleges will take home a much-coveted Pomona College paper-mâché lamp and bragging rights for the year.

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About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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