WMS – Northeast Boarding School Winner of the 2012 Green Cup Challenge

Ingrid Tomljanovic
Through joined efforts, schools helped save 1.5 million pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.
By Ingrid Tomljanovic ’13

Since the very beginning of the school year, the WMS Sustainability Club has focused on a variety of projects and activities. One of our most challenging student initiatives was the decision to participate in this year’s Green Cup Challenge. The Cup is an energy saving initiative designed as a nationwide school competition. It has been running for the last five years. This year, 116 schools entered the Challenge and, through joined efforts, helped save 1,567,562 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Over a four-week period (January 18th- February 15th), each of the competing schools attempted to lower its overall electricity usage in comparison to a baseline value. WMS won the Green Cup Challenge in the Northeast Boarding Schools category— we reduced our usage 15.8% in comparison to the last year’s baseline value. During the second week of the Challenge, we used 17% less electricity than what was indicated by last year’s average values.
In order involve the rest of the community, Sustainability Club members created posters and signs to remind others to turn off their lights, unplug their chargers, turn off their computers when they are not being used and wash only full loads of laundry. We assembled a team of students to read the electricity meters weekly and input the data into a spreadsheet. This helped us keep track of our progress. Students were kept abreast of their weekly energy consumption by posters that displayed energy use by building. In order to share our enthusiasm with the rest of the community, two candlelight dinners were organized in honor of the Green Cup.
The Green Cup was fun and rewarding. The Sustainability Club is excited to participate again next year!

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