Green Cup Challenge to Spark A/E Rivalry

Beginning January 16, the Blue-Red-Green Cup Challenge will pit Andover against Exeter within the larger Green Cup Challenge, a competition among boarding schools to reduce campus energy usage. “We have always been compared to Exeter in past Green Cup challenges, but this will be a direct challenge,” said Trish Russell, Head of the Division of Natural Sciences and Sustainability Coordinator. The similar student body sizes, numbers of buildings and boarder to day student ratios between Andover and Exeter make it easier to compare energy consumption, said Russell. In November, Russell and her Exeter counterpart developed the Blue-Red-Green Cup Challenge. “I hope that the Blue-Red-Green Cup will help inspire more interest among students who may not at first care a lot about the environment or sustainability, but because of the Andover-Exeter rivalry, [might] make more efforts to reduce energy consumption,” said Russell. The Blue-Red-Green Cup Challenge will launch with the Green Film Festival, a competition in which Andover students will submit two-minute videos abut sustainability. The winning video will become Andover’s submission into the 40-school Green Cup Challenge. During the Blue-Red-Green Cup, Andover’s energy consumption versus Exeter’s will appear on monitors in the Gelb Science Center. Last year, Andover used these monitors to compare energy consumption between campus buildings, but this year the screens will only track Andover-Exeter energy usage. In the future, Russell hopes to implement “an online system that students and faculty can use to see the electricity and water use in all dormitories. At the moment, we can only do that for some dormitories.” The larger Green Cup Challenge will begin on January 26. According to Michael Williams, Director of Facilities, Andover has not yet determined how it will calculate the energy baseline for the Green Cup Challenge. However, Williams said that Andover was “leaning towards taking an average of the past three Februaries,” the same method of calculation used for last year’s baseline. During the Green Cup Challenge, Eco-Action will sponsor the “Greener Gunga Button Rental,” a program in which students can rent buttons to prevent aluminum waste. The proceeds from the button rentals will go toward purchasing carbon offsets. According to Russell, the rental of 1,500 buttons would offset electricity in a dorm for the school year. “The buttons will then be returned to Eco-Action for future use, rather than ending up in trash cans,” said Russell. This year’s Green Cup Challenge will also include events sponsored by Andover students. Cynthia Efinger, Director of Student Activities, said that Blue Key Heads will visit dormitories and present on energy conservation. The Student Activities Board will also host a “Recycle Your T-Shirt Party.” Seniors William Thompson-Butler, Trevor Gulick-Stutz and Kyle Rogers will create a daily report on food waste in Uncommons, a project called the “Ort Report.” “When we measured food waste one day last year, the number was very high. Hopefully with the Ort Report, the amount of food waste will decrease daily,” said Russell. Other scheduled events for the Green Cup Challenge include day student carpools, a victory dinner and a final dance. Exeter, for its part, will host a number of speakers including Chad Kister, author of “Arctic Meeting,” and will screen documentaries such as “King Corn” and “Out of Balance.”