Green Cup Challenge 2018

Green Cup Energy Challenge 2018: How Low Can You Go?

Since 2009, Besant Hill School has been participating in the Green Cup Energy Challenge (GCC), sponsored by the Green Schools Alliance. Between January 29 – February 26, our school–for the 10th consecutive year–made it a priority to be aware of the way we consume electricity.

In 2008, prior to our participation in the Green Cup Challenge, BHS consumed 21,250 kilowatt-hours of electricity to power our campus during this January/February time of the year. In 2018, we continued to reduce our energy use all the way down to 13,827 kilowatt-hours, representing a 35% reduction in energy use!

The reduction of nearly 7,000 kilowatt-hours can be directly translated to an equivalent reduction of over five tons of greenhouse gas emissions released into our atmosphere. It is also equivalent to the atmospheric purification done naturally by about five acres of healthy forest. As the global atmospheric carbon dioxide level continues to climb above the 410 ppm level, every step to prevent more carbon becomes so important.

This is the 10th year in a row that we have created what Amory Lovins, a renowned environmental scientist, calls “negawatts” rather than “megawatts.” The Doornink Grove Dormitory was awarded the coveted Green Cup due to its energy reduction of over 19.5% over the four weeks of the Green Cup Challenge. In second place was Phoenix Dormitory with a reduction of over 3.9%, and EOS Dormitory came in third place. In fairness, Phoenix had a lower total energy use and a much lower per capita use than any other dorm.

Each year it becomes more challenging to demonstrate energy conservation during the competition. Yet each year our community has found ways to work together to reduce our energy consumption, primarily by increasing our awareness of the way energy is used in the dorms and on campus. Phoenix, in particular, seems to have reached the maximum conservation possible by simple measures and may need to consider larger improvements, such as improved insulation or solar panels.

We have every reason to celebrate the accomplishments of the 2018 Green Cup Energy Challenge, especially Doornink Grove, which will be holding the “Green Cup” for the first time ever. In the next academic year, the 2019 Green Cup Challenge will offer us another chance for our participation in this worthwhile sustainability competition.

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