School-wide ‘Green Cup Challenge’ Promotes Sustainability and Conservation through Friendly Competition

The Green Cup Challenge, a school-wide campaign for conservation, began last Sunday and will last until April 28. The challenge is an intra-cluster competition for energy and food sustainability. The top dorms from each cluster, five in total, will win Chipotle munches.

Carolina Weatherall ’21, a Junior in Eaton Cottage, said, “We are all having fun with the competition, and the added bonus of a Chipotle munch really gets us going. It is definitely easier to stick with this type of goal with a smaller dorm. We have mostly just been turning off lights we usually use, which not only has made a difference, but also created a cozier environment for everyone.”

“The Green Cup Challenge encourages people to talk about sustainability on a fun new platform with dorm mates that is hopefully more motivating for a prize while being mindful of our energy usage. I am part of the EcoAction club, and the Green Cup Challenge is something that has been happening before I joined the club. We’re really excited to continue it this year with some advanced [and] updated technology for more accurate and on-time readings,” said Claire Brady ’20, a board member of EcoAction.

According to the official overview of the competition, the challenge will reward dorms that can reduce their energy consumption by the greatest percent per capita by the end of the month. This will be monitored by the sustainability department. Weekly updates will be given by cluster deans to increase spur on competition.

Georgia Ezell ’19, President of EcoAction, wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Wastefulness is a huge problem at Andover. Many of us are too busy to pay attention to the environmental ramifications of our actions — whether we’re using plastic water bottles instead of reusable ones, leaving lights on in empty dorm rooms, choosing to use paper towels over the automatic hand dryer, etc.”

Despite dorms’ energy consumption only being monitored until the end of April, the competition is designed to foster environmentally conscious mindsets that will continue long after the Chipotle munches are won, according to Ezell.

“It is so important for us to understand how everyday habits like these are contributing to our current climate change crisis and are increasing Andover’s carbon footprint. This competition is designed to increase students’ understanding of the importance of energy conservation and encourage them to practice earth-friendly habits year-round,” wrote Ezell.

Students who have been a part of the Green Cup Challenge in previous years have noticed ongoing greener actions, according to David Tsai ’18, former Co-President of EcoAction, who has participated in the planning of the challenge since his Junior year.

“Having participated in the Green Cup Challenge over the past four years, I have noticed that my everyday habits have become more sustainable. Consuming less meat, using less electricity, gas, and water, and paying attention to what my dorm is doing in terms of trash [rather than] recycling are ways that the Green Cup Challenge has taught me how to be more sustainable,” wrote Tsai in an email to The Phillipian.

By reminding her dorm mates to keep up sustainable habits, Brady helps to carry forward the momentum inspired by the temporary enticement of a Chipotle munch into long-lasting change.

Brady said, “I hope to encourage individuals, especially in my dorm, to reduce their energy by taking shorter showers, being more efficient with laundry, turning off lights, and other seemingly small actions that truly make a difference.”

“What’s super important to keep in mind during this challenge is that, even though there is a fun and enticing prize, the real purpose of this challenge is for people to see how their actions directly correlate to their electricity consumption, and carry this mentality about sustainability far beyond the Green Cup Challenge,” continued Brady.