Unplug! Residence hall energy competition back for fall ‘16

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The SUNY New Paltz Unplugged contest gets underway once again on Oct. 30, as the Office of Campus Sustainability (OCS) and the Residence Hall Student Assocation (RHSA) have challenged students to cut back on energy use and claim bragging rights as fall ’16 Unplugged champion.

In previous years, students have come up with all kinds of energy saving strategies in pursuit of victory, including:

  • Using power strips and the power strip on/off switch to combat energy-draining “phantom load;”
  • Exchanging old incandescent light bulbs for more efficient compact fluorescents, which are available through hall Residence Assistant offices;
  • Making an effort to turn lights off when they’re not in use;
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator (it’s good exercise, too!);
  • Doing fewer loads of laundry, and using cold water to reduce heating costs;
  • Celebrating their energy-reduction success at “Glow-In-The-Dark” parties where neon glow sticks are replacing artificial lighting.

The New Paltz Unplugged contest, held regularly on campus since its spring ’14 debut, is a fun way for students to actively address a serious environmental issue. Electricity use in residence halls comprise about 22 percent of the total electricity used on campus. In the 12 months before the start of this fall’s competition, all of the residence halls used approximately 4.9 million kwh of electricity, generating more than 3,371 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (MT CO2) at a cost of over $445,000.

Stay tuned for regular updates on the Unplugged standings, and visit the Campus Sustainability website for more ideas about how to make a positive impact on the College’s energy consumption.