GCC Results are In: Exeter Takes 4th Place in Energy Savings
February 28, 2007
The 2007 Green Cup Challenge (GCC) is over. Cumulative results for the monthlong competition put Exeter solidly in 4th place, with an overall energy savings of 8.2% for the period from January 26, 2007 to February 23, 2007. What does 8.2 percent mean in layman's terms? Exeter's energy reduction prevented 177,733 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the estimated equivalent of taking 17 cars off the road for one year. It also means a savings of 114,667 kilowatt hours and $14,906.
Millbrook School had the greatest overall energy savings for the month at 16.3 percent, followed by Holderness School at 15.1 percent and Darrow School at 14 percent.
"Congratulations to all the students, faculty and staff who got involved at the 15 participating schools," says Jennifer Wilhelm, sustainability coordinator at Exeter. "Their actions speak volumes to the importance of addressing global climate change."
GCC's mission is to raise awareness about climate change and to identify ways to slow global warming. During the challenge, the 15 schools developed energy-reduction curriculum, produced student videos and did their utmost to reduce energy use. "We have learned a lot, and we hope to continue to grow and change this program into a top-notch interscholastic environmental education challenge next year and beyond," says Wilhelm.
Energy savings were tricky this year due to a significant cold snap that hit New England just as the GCC began. But, the timing could not have been more appropriate. At mid-challenge, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report stating that climate change is "unequivocal." And, as if to mark the end of the GCC, Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Oscar for documentary feature.
In addition to the GCC trophy, which goes to Millbrook School for the greatest reduction in energy use, the honor for best GCC video is awarded to Hotchkiss School. Lawrenceville School gets kudos for the new GCC logo, designed by Monica Zhou '08. Award for best GCC spirit goes to Northfield Mount Hermon School.
At Millbrook School, the hope is to keep energy consumption down year-round now that they know they can do it. "Part of the reason we had a good reduction during the GCC is because we had a high per-student baseline to begin with," explains Barry Schnoor, Millbrook's director of physical plant. "My hope is that the lessons we've learned, the habits we have hopefully instilled, will still be in place next year during the baseline period."
For those of you eager to test out your global warming knowledge, here are a few quiz questions developed at Exeter for a night of "EcoTrivia" (answers at the bottom of the page):
1. Today there are over 6.2 billion people in the world. At current birth rates, what is the population of the world expected to be by 2060? 8, 10, 12 or 16 billion?
2. At current rates of growth, we will add more people to the population of the world in the next 50 years than we did during the first 500,000 years of human history. True or False?
3. What degree change must humanity maintain in order to stabilize climate change?
4. Global climate has increased by which amount over the past 100 years? .01, 0.6, 2.6 or 4.8 degrees Celsius?
5. One 747 aircraft arriving and departing produces as much smog as a car driven over 5,600 miles. True or False?
6. By what percentage must humanity decrease carbon emissions in order to stabilize climate change?
7. What percentage of growth is projected to occur in developing countries? 60, 75, 85 or 99%?
Interested in learning more?
See a complete list of the GCC participating schools and their results…
Find out more about The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report...
View the student-produced GCC videos…
See the WBZTV.com profile on the GCC…
1. 12 billion
3. 2 degrees Celsius
4. 0.6 degrees Celsius
5. True. The same airplane produces as much polluting nitrogen oxides as a car driven nearly 26,500 miles. While a number of governments have effectively required cars to undergo emissions inspections (with resulting improvements in emissions and efficiency), airplanes have not received the same scrutiny. Meanwhile, air travel is increasing in popularity and is projected to double within the next 20 years.
7. 99%. Increasing population growth puts enormous pressure on the environment. Every day, people use more resources and generate more waste, making it increasingly difficult to meet basic needs and improve overall quality of life.