Skidmore Unplugged returns and expands
Skidmore Unplugged, an annual energy-conservation competition, returns to campus Wednesday, Oct. 29, to Wednesday, Nov. 19. Designed to encourage energy-conscious behavior through education, the program promotes friendly competition between campus residence halls to achieve the greatest reduction in electricity usage. The winning hall will receive a new water bottle refill station, installed in one of the common areas of the building.
The competition reaches beyond the Skidmore campus this year in a competition involving the other New York 6 schools. Called the New York Negawatt Challenge, the competition pits Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Union College, St. Lawrence University and Skidmore College against one another for the greatest percent reduction in energy usage on campus.
Standings for both Skidmore Unplugged and the NY Negawatt Challenge can be seen on a new building dashboard being utilized by all the NY6 schools. Students see where their building ranks in the campus competition and check Skidmore’s ranks among institutional competitors. The building dashboard also offers energy saving tips, tracks CO2 emissions and energy costs within each building, and highlights some of Skidmore’s sustainable infrastructure. The building dashboard can be found at here.
For the second year in a row, residence halls will compete for a water bottle refilling station. This prize meets the mission of the competition—to encourage sustainable behavior—and will add to the growing portfolio of sustainability infrastructure on campus. Students also have many other opportunities to win prizes during the three-week competiton, such as coupons for Chipotle, Ben and Jerry’s, and many downtown Saratoga businesses. S-Reps will post trivia questions, hold a weekly #Unplugskidmore photo contest, and offer giveaways at Unplugged events. To enter any of these contests, students are invited to “like” the Skidmore Unplugged Facebook pag.
Throughout Skidmore Unplugged, the Sustainable Skidmore Office and the student Sustainability Representatives, or S-Reps, are joining forces with various student groups and offices to show how sustainability can be integrated across disciplines. Many exciting events will be held throughout the competition, including a haunted tour of the North Woods, a screening of Triple Divide followed by a facilitated discussion, a campus dialogue focused on the disproportionate impacts of energy use on certain communities, as well as the ever-popular Lively Lucy’s Unplugged. Organizers of Skidmore Unplugged hope that the collaborations between multiple departments and student groups will demonstrate the intersection between sustainability and other interests, and deepen the community’s understanding of energy use, energy sources, and the effects that fossil fuels have on the environment and communities.
Kimball Hall won the competition last year by decreasing its electricity use by 16 percent. The competition on a whole saved over 6,000 kWh, enough energy to power one of the south quad residence halls for 10 days. This year's goal is to exceed that rate of savings in 2014, so start getting unplugged on Oct. 29!