Every spring since 2011, WashU’s South 40 Residential Colleges compete to reduce energy use and adopt more sustainable lifestyles, preventing hundreds of metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and helping the university save money on electricity costs.
New this year is the inclusion of the Village House, Lopata, Millbrook, and Village East who will join as the Village team.
ResColleges compete against each other across several categories including energy use, green events participation, answering weekly quizzes, and logging actions via the Ecochallenge.org platform.
The Green Cup competition will kick off this year on Friday, February 3rd and conclude at 11:59 pm on Thursday, February 23rd.
Participants receive points by taking actions within the following categories:
- Energy reduction – Building energy data will be pulled at the end of every week of the challenge!
- Green events attendance – Check out various events that are eligible for points allocation. These will be published on the @wustlsustain Instagram. If you are planning an eligible event, please contact Aamna Anwer.
- Enroll in the Ecochallenge and complete actions!
- Take the weekly quiz! (See link above)
- Stop by Bears Den during tabling for various point opportunities! Tabling will take place from 6-8 pm on February 7th, 15th, and 20th.
The Green Cup is a collaboration between Congress of the South 40 (CS40), Residential Life, and the Office of Sustainability.
Why is Green Cup so important?
“Green Cup is, for many students, an introduction into the world of sustainability through an approachable competition to get people invested. And it brings students together! I think especially after an extended period of being remote, it will be so much more engaging and fun,” states WashU Green Ambassadors PR leader, Maya Tsingos.
Lauren Blaydon, director of development for CS40, shares her experience with the competition. “Green Cup matters because it helps a larger part of the student body see the importance of sustainable actions and sheds light on certain issues like overconsumption and excessive energy use.”
“A sad fact that I learned while participating in Green Cup is that 70% of the net electricity generation in Missouri is from coal,” Lauren adds.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 40% of all energy use in the United States is attributed to electricity, most of which is generated by burning fossil fuels.
When asked about the best part of Green Cup, Maya shares, “From my experience, I think the best part about Green Cup is learning little details here and there about how sustainability impacts our everyday life. I encourage participants to learn more about the role that WashU plays in the St. Louis region, that’s definitely something I found interesting in previous Green Cups.”
How do I participate?
Participants must reside in the South 40 or the Village. If you are a resident of a South 40 Residential College, reach out to your Eco Rep. If your ResCollege does not have an EcoRep, your College Council will also have more information for you.
What are some easy things I can do?
- Wash laundry on a cold cycle—heating water requires energy! And dry your clothes on low heat or hang to dry if you have the space!
- In these cold winter months, keep your thermostat temperature low (if you have control over your thermostat), 67-69 is ideal, and wear layers to keep warm
- Unplug any electronics not in use, this includes cell phone chargers!
- Find your computer’s energy saving mode
- Turn off all lights when leaving a room and take advantage of natural light during the day
For more tips, check out the Office of Sustainability’s Energy Efficiency Guide.
Any questions about Green Cup can be directed to Aamna Anwer, Sustainability Coordinator: email@example.com