Portland State University ranked among the top 10 universities in the U.S. this week for energy reduction during Campus Conservation Nationals, a nationwide competition among colleges and universities to conserve electricity and water in campus residence halls.
PSU students averted nearly 42,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere and saved the University an estimated $6,446 in utility costs through conservation efforts during the competition.
“We organized events each week of the competition to raise awareness about actions students can take every day to reduce consumption—from a candlelight dinner to a smarter laundry workshop to a blackout board game night,” said Kristen Purdy, sophomore environmental science major and EcoReps coordinator for the PSU Sustainability Leadership Center. “We also encouraged students to take sustainability pledges like ‘unplug electronics’ or ‘take shorter showers’—little things everyone can do to make a difference. And it paid off.”
Students in six residence halls at PSU participated in the challenge and competed against 108 other campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Portland State is the only university in Oregon to rank in the top 10.
Other top ranking schools were Appalachian State University, Bard College, Berea College, California State University Chico, Dickinson College, Louisiana State University, Loyola University Maryland, Wake Forest University and Western Carolina University.
Collectively, participating schools averted an estimated 3 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and saved $198,000 in utilities costs.
“This tangible mobilization of hundreds of thousands of students reducing energy consumption, promoting sustainability and actively mitigating the effects of climate change shows that the next generation is ready for change and is no longer willing to wait for decision makers to address the issues at hand,” said Hannah Debelius, USGBC Students program manager, the Center for Green Schools at U.S. Green Building Council.
Campus Conservation Nationals 2014 was organized by Center for Green Schools at U.S. Green Building Council, Lucid, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Alliance to Save Energy.