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As part of Earlham’s Energy Wars, Nicholas Pondelis ’13 wore a dinosaur costume to read Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax to those attending the Bedtime Stories event at the Joseph Moore Museum.

Residence Halls Reduce Electricity Use in Energy Wars

March 06, 2013

Earlham students haven’t resorted to studying by candlelight yet, but they are turning off lights and power strips, and at least one student is hanging laundry to dry under her loft bed.

All of this is part of Earlham’s second annual Energy Wars, a competition between residence halls to see which one makes the largest reduction in energy usage from Feb. 15 until March 8. Residents of the winning dorm receive gift certificates to La Chiquita, a popular local restaurant.

Earlham’s newly created Student Sustainability Corps (SSC) is organizing the competition this year and has instituted a dinosaur theme.

“We chose a dinosaur theme because it’s a fun and quirky theme that gave us a lot of ideas for events, like Bedtime Stories in the Joseph Moore Museum,” says Tim O’Donoghue, a second-year SSC member who is working on the Energy Wars. “It also represents a time before electricity usage, which is another tie-in with Energy Wars.”

First-year Zach Peck gets an up close look at Kazul, the bearded dragon, during Bedtime Stories at the Joseph Moore Museum.O’Donoghue says Earlham’s Energy Wars is part of the Campus Conservation Nationals, a nationwide competition among colleges with the goal to reduce electricity usage by one gigawatt during the time of the competition.

“Energy Wars is such an awesome way for students to engage with each other on energy saving practices and create community in their residence halls via friendly competition,” says Sarah Waddle, assistant director of the Center for Environmental Action. “We love seeing so many students excited and involved in energy saving across the campus.”

O’Donoghue says the project incorporates all members of the sustainability corps into one big effort to curb electricity use and teach the sustainable living habits that are necessary for the future.

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