WUSTL students living in on-campus housing on the South 40, the north side of the Danforth Campus and in fraternities are shutting off lights, sharing refrigerators and setting their laptops on power save mode to try to win the annual Green Cup.
The contest is divided into three leagues: one for residential colleges, one for North Side teams (Millbrook/Village East and Village/Lopata Houses) and one for fraternity houses. The Green Cup recognizes the team in each league that garners the most points during the four-week competition, Feb 1-28.
Electricity use in each building is measured with utility-grade meters installed in all campus buildings. The Facilities Department records data from those meters at all hours. Twice weekly, energy consumption data is updated at greencup.wustl.edu, which tracks the buildings’ energy use and the competition’s standings.
Teams 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 sustainabilitypledge.wustl.edu; creating an energy-reduction action plan for their team; or wearing the Greenman suit.
The winner of each league will be awarded a Green Cup trophy, made from recycled glass, at the awards ceremony in early March. A variety of weekly and runner-up prizes also are being awarded.
Last year’s winning fraternity team, Sigma Chi, reduced its energy usage by more than 20 percent over the course of the competition. Sigma Chi member Bryan Shalloway, a 2012 graduate, says the victory was a group effort.
“Fraternity members turned off the air conditioning and kept the building almost dark,” he says. “My brothers would come up to me at night to report that all the lights in the basement were off.”
The Green Cup was developed and implemented for the first time in spring of 2011 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.
Upcoming events include Happy Hour from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in The Gargoyle, Mallinckrodt Center, and the Green Cup-sponsored Tuesday Tea at DUC Commons from 3-5 p.m. Feb. 19.