Students from three Virginia colleges are raising awareness about the importance of being energy-conscious through a friendly rivalry.

Old Dominion University (ODU), University of Richmond (UR), and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) have formed a Virginia competition group through Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), a nationwide contest aimed at reducing energy and water usage on college and university campuses.

From Feb. 8-28, residence halls on each campus will compete against one another to reduce the highest percentage of electricity in comparison to a baseline measurement for that building. Energy consumption will be tracked and displayed using the competition dashboard.

Total reduction amounts for each of the three schools will be compared against each other as part of the CCN competition. Each campus will also award prizes to students in the residence hall that reduces the most electricity on its campus.

Competition standings for both the internal competition at the University of Richmond and the three-school competition can be viewed here:

Throughout the competition, students are encouraged to conserve energy by unplugging electronics or turning off power strips. The competition will also educate students on using natural light whenever possible and making sure to turn electric lights off when leaving a room. The focus of the competition is to raise awareness about the energy students consume every day and how that electricity use affects the entire university.

At the University of Richmond, CCN is part of a larger three-week series of events called Eco-Olympics, focusing on both electricity and waste reduction.

“The University of Richmond has committed to becoming climate neutral by 2050 and reducing our carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020,” said Emilie Rex, interim sustainability manager. “To achieve these goals, we’ll need everyone’s help reducing electricity, water and waste by committing to simple, everyday changes in behavior.”

Throughout the Eco-Olympics, UR students are encouraged to take pictures of themselves or friends performing electricity or waste reduction behaviors and post them to the Office for Sustainability’s social media channels for opportunities to win a variety of prizes ranging from bicycles to gift certificates. For energy and waste reduction tips and behaviors and more information about the Eco-Olympics, visit the sustainability page on the University’s website.


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