NC State Students living on campus challenged themselves to conserve resources this fall during the Energy and Water Competition. The competition, which kicked-off during NC State Energy Week and concluded Oct. 20, was sponsored by the Sustainability Stewards and the Inter-Residence Council (IRC).
To increase awareness about resource conservation, these student-led organizations hosted multiple educational events to share simple, but effective strategies. These tips, including turning off lights and electronics when not in use and using cold water for laundry, helped reduce energy across competing residence halls by an average of 11%.
“Seeing the reductions in energy and water consumption is always exciting during these competitions, but what I love most is how much students learn during this competition,” said undergraduate civil engineering student Tana Harris, who co-leads the Stewards’ resource conservation team. “We get to teach them sustainable habits that can be used for the rest of their lives.”
With the support of University Housing and NC State Energy Management, water and electricity consumption data was collected to assess reduction levels. This fall’s competition focused on three competing on-campus residence hall groups:
- Carrol, Metcalf and Bowen
- Tucker and Owen
- Turlington and Alexander
The winners of this semester’s challenge, Tucker Hall and Owen Hall, were able to reduce their overall energy consumption by 19%. To celebrate their success, residents will receive a pizza party sponsored by IRC. A spring competition is being planned for different groups of residence halls and apartments on campus.
Campus and community members can help conserve energy and water year-round with these simple ways to save:
- Hit the switch when you leave an empty room. Lighting accounts for 15 percent of energy use. You can also open blinds or shades to maximize natural lighting, or use task lighting (powered by LEDs) instead of overhead lighting.
- Pull the plug to prevent electronics from using energy when not in use. Many devices still use energy even when not in use.
- Shut the sash of lab fume hoods, one of the biggest energy wasters on campus.
- Mind your monitor, which consumes over half of the energy used by an average computer; when not in use, turn off your monitor to save energy.
- Turn off the tap while shaving, brushing teeth or any other time when you’re not actually using water.
- Fix leaks fast to save gallons. Reports leaks on campus to 919-515-2991.
- Shorten your shower to save about 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
- Wash wisely to save energy and water. Only wash and dry full loads of laundry and use cold water to maximize energy savings.