Gunga Data Tracks Energy Reduction by Dorm

The Gunga Green Challenge, an energy reduction competition between the five clusters of Phillips Academy, kicked off this Monday. The Gunga Data website, which was created for the Green Cup Challenge, will keep track of the reductions made by each dorm and cluster for a month. The website displays total reductions, reductions per person and reductions per square foot. Clusters will win depending on the percent reduction in electricity consumption. Patricia Russell, Sustainability Coordinator and Science Instructor at Phillips Academy, said, “By percent seems like the fairest way to measure energy reduction given that the buildings have a different number of people and are different sizes.” Russell said that students can help their clusters by adjusting little things to reduce their energy usage. Russell advised students to turn off unused lights, unplug chargers and power down idle electronic devices. “I hope that this will be a fun opportunity to pay attention to our electricity consumption, and hopefully we will start to develop some habits that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and the dollars we spend on electricity,” said Russell. The competition was designed to foster unity and cluster spirit in the long-standing spirit of friendly rivalry, according to Russell. Although they are still deciding on a prize, Russell suggested that a special cluster munch for the winning cluster. Russell said, “It’s a great bonding activity between clusters for a good cause, and I think every cluster would like to win.” “I want students to become more conscious of the savings we gain just by paying attention. My goal is for every dorm to save at least 10 or 15 percent in electricity,” she added. Russell hopes to continue the Gunga Green Challenge in the future. She said, “It’s going to be up to the Student Council, the cluster presidents and the proctors and prefects to decide how they want to structure future competitions.” The Gunga Green Challenge is based on the National Green Cup Competition that occurred last term. Phillips Academy competed against Deerfield Academy and hosted a competition between the dorms on campus. The Green Cup winners, Andover Cottage and Eaton Cottage, reduced their energy usage by around 30 percent.