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Off-Campus Students Participate in This Year's Green Cup

Popular annual sustainability competition has been moved to the fall

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November 11, 2013 | by Emily Osborne

EVANSTON, Ill. --- For the first time, Northwestern University has launched its annual month-long, campus-wide sustainability competition in the fall and extended the competition to students living in off-campus housing.

The 2013 Green Cup competition challenges students to significantly reduce their use of water and electricity during the month of competition. Twenty-six residence halls and 22 Greek houses and their residents are participating in Green Cup this year. Thirteen teams are participating in the off-campus portion of the competition.

The Green Cup competition began Oct. 21 and will run through Nov. 17.

“Moving out of residence halls is one of the biggest transitions many students make during their college careers,” said senior Nora Richter, off-campus Green Cup coordinator. “The Green Cup challenge will help off-campus students to exercise best practices in sustainability in their first years living on their own.”

Traditionally held in the winter, Green Cup organizers pushed this year’s competition date earlier to engage the student body in sustainable living throughout the school year. The fall schedule also opens up the door for a variety of outdoor events.

Now in its ninth year, Green Cup is organized by Students for Ecological and Environmental Development (SEED) with support from Northwestern’s Office of Sustainability.

“This is one way the Northwestern community can come together to make Northwestern a leader of the sustainability movement,” said senior Danny Ginzberg, Green Cup co-chair.

Green Cup events this week include a panel discussion “The Economics and Culture of Local Food” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 13 at the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, and “Living Green,” hosted by Northwestern Eco-Reps, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 in room 122, Parkes Hall.

Green Cup will conclude with an awards ceremony Nov. 22.

Visit the Northwestern Green Cup Facebook page to get the most up-to-date information on events.

Scoring for Green Cup in the on-campus portion (residence halls and Greek Houses) is based on a per person percent reduction in water and electricity usage as compared to an established baseline usage recorded in January and historical data for each residence.

Contestants will be judged in the categories of “food-service residence,” “non-food-service residence,” “fraternity” and “sorority.”

All four first-place winners will receive a “green cup” trophy, which is hand blown and made out of green recycled glass. The trophies will reside in the winning residence halls and Greek houses until next year’s Green Cup winners are determined.

Off-campus participants can earn points by posting pictures on the Northwestern Green Cup Facebook page, by emailing nuecoreps@gmail.com on how they are living green and by attending Green Cup events. The top three off-campus teams will receive a variety of prizes.

This year also marks the first time that Northwestern has been named a gold Campus Sustainability Compact award winner. In coordination with the Governor’s Green Governments Coordinating Council, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center presented the award in October in recognition of Northwestern’s “established and comprehensive sustainability program that enhances the Evanston campus as well as the surrounding community.”

A few facts about energy and water usage:

  • Three to seven gallons of water are used for every minute in the shower.
  • Americans spend more money annually to power home audio equipment when turned off than when actually in use.
  • If you let the water run while brushing your teeth, five gallons of water are wasted.

Conservation tips for saving energy and water include:

  • unplugging electronics when not in use
  • switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and using task lighting
  • washing clothing in cold water and only doing full loads
  • taking shorter, less hot showers
  • turning off the faucet when brushing teeth

Green Cup sponsors are SEED, the Office of Sustainability, Eco-Reps, Student Affairs, Northwestern Interfraternity Council, Northwestern PanHellenic Association and the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN).

Topics: Campus Life, University