Massey Hall has won the eighth annual Make Orange Green POWER Challenge, earning the title of “greenest” residence hall at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Hosted every October by the Office of Sustainability, the POWER Challenge encourages resource conservation, recycling, and environmental awareness in the university’s twelve residence halls.
During the month-long competition, each hall receives points based on its energy use, water use, recycling, and environmental programs. The hall with the most points at the end of the month wins the POWER Challenge, along with an awards party, bragging rights, and the cherished “Mo Green” trophy.
The competition was fierce, and Massey Hall won the challenge through a strong combination of water conservation, hall programs, and participation in the Office of Sustainability’s annual compact fluorescent light bulb exchange.
“The POWER Challenge is a great way to spark conversations among residents about resource conservation,” said Kristina Klamm, Massey hall director. “It also shows residents that small changes in daily routines can make a big impact on the environment.”
As in the past, the 2012 POWER Challenge helped reduce resource consumption in the residence halls. Compared to October 2008, when the competition did not occur, campus residents used 443,700 cubic feet less water (the equivalent of roughly five Olympic swimming pools) and recycled seven tons more waste. Energy conservation efforts by the residents helped prevent 126 metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution, providing an environmental benefit equivalent to saving 14,000 gallons of gasoline.
Overall, campus residents helped UT avoid approximately $56,000 in water, wastewater, electricity, and trash disposal costs during the POWER Challenge.
“Congratulations to Massey Hall and everyone who supported the 2012 POWER Challenge,” said Jerry Adams, associate director for Residence Life. “By adopting green practices, our residents can help the environment and contribute to a more sustainable campus.”
The 2012 POWER Challenge was supported by University Housing, the United Residence Hall Council, Volunteer Dining, and Eco-Vols, a student organization that promotes sustainable living in the residence halls. Special activities held during the competition included a “Five-Minute Shower” pledge and the Black Out Bash, an event to encourage residents to turn off their lights.
“There are so many reasons to support resource conservation and other sustainable living habits,” said Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Hannah Slodounik. “We hope that the POWER Challenge demonstrates that going green can be simple, effective, and fun,” said Slodounik.