Willard and GREEN lead in Green Cup challenge

Becky Olles

Students for Ecological and Environmental Development marked the halfway point of the Green Cup by posting the current standings on its Web site Tuesday.

The annual competition pits Northwestern’s dorms against each other in an effort to conserve the most water and energy during a six-week period. The competition is broken down into two categories: dorms with dining halls and dorms without dining halls.

Willard Residential College is leading for dorms with food service, followed by Elder Hall and 1835 Hinman. GREEN House is first for dorms without food service. Kemper Hall and Shepard Residential College round out the leader board in that category.

Daniel Lazar, a Communication sophomore in Willard, said he has taken an active role in the Green Cup.

“I started timing my showers, turning the showerhead off when I lather and trying to use more window light,” he said. “I’ll admit I’ll charge my laptop in classrooms, but that’s just one of my strategies.”

Elisa Redish, co-chairwoman for Green Cup, said the results were a mixture of good and bad so far this year.

“A lot of dorms didn’t have significant changes and a lot did,” she said. “So it seems that some people are trying to make an effort.”

SEED made changes in the Green Cup this year by giving out prizes for the half-point results and counting participation at Green Cup firesides and speakers as 25 percent of the final score.

“We’ve had good success with firesides so far, and people really get excited because we have prizes,” said Redish, a Communication sophomore.

This year’s Green Cup committee also created more events that advertise the competition, including trivia nights, mug painting and an environmentally themed dinner and service at Hillel.

According to SEED’s Web site, the main goal for this year’s competition is to educate students about how to make long-term changes in their daily habits.

“People generally seem interested in being greener and changing their behaviors,” Redish said. “I feel that there is more awareness of the Green Cup this year than last year. This year it seems that more people know what’s going on.”

Kristen Wekony is a community assistant in Kemper Hall. CAs have played a significant role in spreading awareness to students in their dorms, she said.

“Instead of doing a formal bulletin board, I cut out paper leaves and posted them around the building,” the Weinberg junior said. “We also have a Green Cup fireside, so I think other CAs are really excited about it and telling their residents.”

Redish said there are many simple ways students can participate in the Green Cup such as taking shorter showers, turning off lights, washing clothes in cold water and unplugging appliances.

“The bigger idea is to get people aware of environmental issues and how their daily actions affect the environment, and hopefully get people to change their daily routine,” she said.

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