This semester, the Colleges’ sustainability efforts will be weighed — in tonnage and kilowatts- against those of campuses both throughout New York State and nationally as part of the RecycleMania and Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) competitions. Both kick off on Feb. 3.
“Recyclemania and Campus Conservation Nationals are fun competitions that help colleges and universities educate students about daily practices that can conserve energy and decrease landfill waste,” explains Sustainability Manager Adam Maurer.
RecycleMania is entering its sixth year at HWS; it is an eight week national recycling competition between roughly 530 colleges and universities created to increase student awareness of campus recycling and waste minimization. Last year’s competition collected 53,340 pounds of recyclables, or approximately 19.6 pounds for every one person on campus. In 2013, the Colleges recycled more than 315,000 pounds of materials, including plastic, glass, cardboard and others. This 315,000 pounds of recyclables prevented nearly 380 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E), which is like removing nearly 80 average U.S. passenger vehicles from the road for an entire year.
Morgan Lucas ’16, sustainable materials management intern with the Office of Sustainability, is committed to using Recyclemania to start 2014 off on a good foot, leading to an increased recycling rate for the Colleges in 2014.
“Recycling and proper waste management should be a part of every student’s daily life,” she says. “Recyclemania will inform the students of how far we have come, yet will also remind us of work that has yet to be done to ensure campus-wide sustainability.”
This will be the third year the Colleges have taken part in CCN, an energy conservation competition in which the Colleges will be competing against institutions in the area, including Colgate University, Hamilton College, St. Lawrence University and Union College.
“CCN is a great way to establish long-term lifestyle changes of students on an individual level through campus wide programs and competitions,” says Cierra Lang ’14 who was involved with CCN last year and is helping with them this year. “These programs get students to question their current energy consumption habits and encourage them to make changes wherever possible.”
There will be multiple ways for students to get involved with both competitions in February and March so students should keep an eye out for events, but organizers note you don’t need a competition to make sure you recycle or turn off the lights and electronics when they’re not in use.
To explore other sustainable campus initiatives visit http://www.hws.edu/about/green/.