University of Cincinnati students who live on campus will have the opportunity to compete against each other beginning March 15 during the residence hall conservation challenge.
Over the past few years, the challenge has become an annual event for residence halls on UC’s Uptown campus. UC Sustainability, an environmental advocacy organization, encourages students living on campus to pay close attention to their ecological decisions during the challenge.
The conservation challenge lasts for five weeks and ends April 19.
Abigail Magoffin, a second-year student and an advocate for UC Sustainability, is working with the organization to inform students about the challenge and its goal.
“We really just wanted to make those individual impacts that we don’t think about,” Magoffin said. “[It has] an educational purpose of just being more aware of the impact that we have on the environment.”
UC Sustainability provides a wide range of resources and guides, and the organization offers several ways for students to participate in the challenge and help their residence hall decrease water and energy usage. These guides are applicable for those who live off campus and wish to participate in the challenge as well.
The organization recommends unplugging and turning off electronics you’re not using, opening your window instead of turning on the air conditioning, reducing the length of your showers to save water, reporting leaks immediately and washing your laundry in cold water, among other suggestions.
“If you wash four out of five loads in cold water, you cut 72 pounds of CO2 emissions in one month,” said Magoffin.
Magoffin also recommends limiting shower times. Students who usually spend 10 minutes in the shower should try cutting it down to five minutes, which can save 12.5 gallons of water, Magoffin said.
The idea to launch a conservation challenge arose from students on campus who attended the Sustainability Summit — a weekend-long initiative where students can get together and discuss ways to promote sustainability on campus.
Updates will be posted in residence halls as the challenge progresses. They can also be found on UC Sustainability’s Facebook page.
Each hall is competing against each other, and the hall who has decreased their human footprint the most at the end of the challenge based on the amount of water and energy used will win a prize that has yet to be determined.