As a follow-up to Focus the Nation, a week set aside to discuss global warming solutions, in February 2008, high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the country will be participating in a one-month-long competition called the National Campus Energy Challenge.
The National Campus Energy Challenge, a project the Energy Action Coaliton plans to hold annually, is aimed at raising awareness about smart energy solutions.
Participating schools don’t compete against each other, but rather compete to lower its energy usage from that of previous years. Each campus must work together to lower their energy consumption during the entire month of February and then submit the results, from which the national and regional winners will be determined.
Students are encouraged to involve fellow students, faculty and school administration to make efficient energy choices everyday by informing them about some simple ways we can all work to save energy.
Individual campus action groups like Princeton University’s Students United for a Responsible Global Environment, have signed on along with regional and state networks like Massachusetts Power Shift and the New York Student Sustainability Coalition.
Students wanting to spur on campus-wide energy conservation are urged to do so in an interactive way by organizing competitions and contests where prizes are awarded, or by throwing an informational party. By building solar panels and wind turbines on the campus, students reinforce the fact that energy-efficienciency is available right now, Excitement about new environmentally-friendly technologies can be generated by inviting energy efficient car makers. The choices are endless and the Energy Action Coalition provides advice on how to get funding. There are hundreds of ways to cut energy use that students can reiterate, like how the simple act of turning out a light when you leave a room is a high-impact solution that is easy, doesn’t sacrifice comfort and is something anyone can do.
The Energy Action Coalition offers resources for its group organizers and participants including an up-to-date public calendar listing energy and climate-based events. Organizing guides, tips and manuals help students with setting up their own events and provide advice about how to make it successful. The Energy Action Coalition job board lists opportunities, jobs and awards available to young people that work toward building an energy-effiecent and sustainable future.
Focus the Nation and The National Campus Energy Challenge are national events organized to inspire continuous eco-action. Advice and experience gathered at the events can be taken away by individuals to use in their own homes and businesses.