GCC Yields Disappointing Numbers for First Two Weeks

After the first two weeks of the Green Cup Challenge, Andover has only seen a 0.86 percent drop in overall energy usage, compared to last year’s 3.6 percent drop during the first week. Patricia Russell, Sustainability Coordinator and Head of the Department of Natural Sciences, said she is unsure why the numbers are lower this year, but believes “It’s going to take the entire student body [to bring about change]. It’s a student led effort.” “I think we had more student attention last year,” said Russell. “It’s not just to win the Green Cup Challenge. It’s to decrease our [environmental impact].” Russell encouraged students to be aware of the environmental impact their actions can have. “Every time we flip a switch, we are directly affecting greenhouse gases. If the [GCC] changes human patterns over the years, we can save an enormous amount of energy,” said Russell. According to Mike Giampa, Paresky Commons Operations Manager, the school has wasted 2.4 tons of ort during the past two weeks of GCC. During the Andover’s best month in waste management, the school only wasted 2.0 tons of ort. “I’m getting weekly numbers [of waste production] from Brick End Farms. During the first week, the number was a little bit higher than I had anticipated, a little bit higher than the average,” said Giampa. “That’s where I’m actually a little disappointed. There’s more waste now than there was during our best month,” Giampa continued. To reduce waste, Giampa has instated changes in Commons such as signs warning students against using disposable paper cups and putting out more melamine bowls for students to use. Giampa urged students to pay more attention to the amount of food they consume. “There are still a number of people who are really bulking up and not eating everything [on their plates]. It’s not limited dining, so you can go up, get something, and then go back. That’s no secret,” said Giampa. Though total campus energy drop has decreased by almost three percent, trash reduction savings has remained fairly constant. Russell said, “We saved almost as much money as last year. More than $10,000 was saved last year from incinerator usage and we have saved 135 tons of trash.” In addition to Paresky Commons’ policy changes, a number of student organizations have contributed to the GCC efforts. Eco-Action, an on-campus organization devoted to environmental awareness, showed a series of films on various environmental issues. Jessica Blake ’10, Co-Head of Eco-Action, said that although Eco-Action has attempted to raise campus awareness, “It’s been worse than expected because we don’t have as many people as we want. It’s hard to get people to come to watch a full-length movie on a Tuesday night.” Blake said students should pay more attention to their environmental impact and spend less time on their computers. Russell said, “Everyone on this campus just needs to pay attention to their energy consumption.” “We haven’t yet completely tapped the power of the student body,” Russell continued.