Features, VII.XVII

Save Some for the Fish — Drinking out of Cups

While many of you may immediately ignore any announcement having to do with environmental awareness, I ask you to bear with me in the spirit of competition and school pride.

Every year since 2006, high schools from all around the country (public and private) have competed in an environmental awareness-based event called the “Green Cup Challenge.” The goal of the competition is to measure, record, and reduce electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions on the campuses of each of the participating schools. The GCC provides more than just friendly competition, it also serves as a source of perspective for all involved in the Challenge, showing all of its participants the effect just a small group of people (relative to the population of the entire planet) can have on the world around it. While encouraging both environmental awareness and competitive spirit, the Challenge last year alone saved 1,396,038 lbs of Carbon Dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Thanks to the work of our Environmental Council, Trinity-Pawling finished 13th out of 50 Northeast Boarding schools in the GCC. We were able to reduce our school’s energy use by 4.9 percent, a higher reduction percentage than the national average. Though it may seem like a small reduction in the grand scheme of things, when hundreds of high schools across the country (both boarding and public) participate in the Challenge and also reduce their energy usage, the total national energy usage decreases substantially. Each school that participates, even each individual student that chooses to join the cause and do their part is able to make a difference.

From turning off the lights in your room when you leave to unplugging your computer charger when you’re not using it, any effort to conserve energy will make a difference in T-P’s overall total reduction for the challenge. So, as we enter the home stretch of the Challenge (which ends on February, 18), it would be very much appreciated if everyone could do what they can to help make a final push to reduce energy and also boost Trinity-Pawling up a few spots in the standings.

For more on the Green Cup Challenge, check out the official Trinity-Pawling Green Cup Challenge video made by Jack Margiotta called “Trinity-Pawling is Going Green” on Youtube and vote for it in the GCC Video competition at this page.

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