Students in residence compete to save energy
Queen’s students living in residence saved 21,845 kilowatt hours of energy during the recent Residence Energy Challenge (REC). Residences compete against each other to see which one can save the most amount of energy.
“The REC is intended to educate students about the changes they can make to save energy beyond life in residence,” said Diana Zeng, Sustainability Coordinator, Main Campus Residence Council (MCRC).
The energy consumption of each residence building was monitored for three weeks and compared to consumption during that period last year. Pledges to participate in the challenge also figured into the final results.
Harkness International Hall saved the most energy this year. All the money gained from lower energy bills will go towards sustainable retrofits within the building. Students in Harkness will also receive free entry into the glow in the dark party hosted by the REC committee and the MCRC.
This year the REC also challenged students to consider how their energy use is connected to consumer activity. A clothing exchange was hosted, giving students the opportunity to trade their old clothes for other used items. A short video, “The Story of Stuff,” was also shown at the clothing exchange.
“I think one thing a lot of students don’t realize is the amount of energy and resources that go into producing new clothes or new material products,” says Ms Zeng. “Our focus this year was to link the REC to broader environmental issues.”
In residence, students were encouraged to save energy by turning of the lights, taking shorter showers and using drying racks for their clothes.
The Alma Mater Society created the annual competition in 2007 and it is now run by MCRC.