Second annual Green Cup contest aims to reduce energy use on campus

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Students living in on-campus housing on the South 40 and North Side and in fraternities are shutting off lights, sharing fridges and unplugging their device chargers to win the WUSTL Green Cup.

The Green Cup recognizes the South 40 residential college, North Side team and fraternity that reduces its energy use by the highest percentage during the four-week competition, which begins Wednesday, Feb. 1, and ends Wednesday, Feb. 29.

The South 40 residential college, North Side team and fraternity that earns the most points will win the 2012 Green Cup contest. (Credit: Kevin Lowder)

Energy use in each building is measured with meters installed in all on-campus housing. Data from those meters is uploaded to, which tracks the buildings’ energy use and the competition’s standings in real time.

Residential colleges, North Side teams and fraternities earn points for each percentage-point drop in per-person energy use over the competition.

Students also can earn points for making a video on how they plan to reduce energy use in their buildings; taking the Sustainability Pledge at; attending a kickoff event; and creating an energy-reduction action plan for their building.

The contest is divided into three leagues: one for residential colleges, one for North Side teams and one for fraternities.

North Side participation is new in 2012; last year’s Green Cup featured two leagues, one for residential colleges and one for fraternities.

The winner of each league will be awarded a Green Cup plaque or trophy, made from recycled bottles, at an awards ceremony in early March. Winners also will receive $500 to use for programming.

Last year’s winning fraternity, Sigma Chi, reduced its energy usage by nearly 30 percent over the course of the competition. According to member and Green Cup Advocate Bryan Shalloway, Sigma Chi’s victory was a group effort.

Fraternity members “turned off the air conditioning and kept the building almost dark,” says Shalloway, a senior majoring in philosophy, neuroscience and psychology in Arts & Sciences. “My brothers would come up to me at night to report that all the lights in the basement were off.

“We were so diligent about unplugging device chargers that we received complaints about chargers being unplugged while the laptops were still charging!”

Last year’s winning residential college was JKL, which consists of residence halls Shanedling, Dauten and Rutledge on the South 40.

This year’s Green Cup is managed by three separate committees, one for each league, which includes the Congress of the South 40’s EcoRep residential sustainability ambassadors.

The Green Cup was developed and implemented for the first time last spring by the Office of Sustainability and a student Green Cup committee, which included recent WUSTL alumnus Chris Brennan, who first proposed the idea to the university.

For more information about the Green Cup, visit