The "green" gauntlet has been thrown down! Lawrenceville is taking on Deerfield Academy and Phillips Andover Academy in a new twist on the Green Cup Challenge: The Save Our Flag Challenge. The seventh annual Green Cup (Jan. 16-Feb. 13) is a competition between private schools throughout U.S. to see which can make the greatest reduction in energy consumption. Lawrenceville is participating in both the Green Cup and Save Our Flag Challenges. As of Jan. 28, Lawrenceville leads Save Our Flag with a 2.8 percent reduction, followed by Phillips Academy (-1.3 percent), and Deerfield (+4.1 percent).
As one of the Green Cup's founders, Lawrenceville has already made significant, permanent energy reductions (which newcomer schools are just starting), making it difficult to lower energy usage as much as rookie participants. Save the Flag gives veteran schools Lawrenceville, Deerfield, and Phillips Academy a more level playing field.
Only student housing is being monitored, which Samantha Essig '13, Sustainability Representative to the Lawrenceville's Student Council, said will give Lawrentians the best opportunity to personally make a difference. Students can monitor real-time data on buildingdashboard.net. As of today, the Griswold and Kirby Houses are using the least amount of electricity among the Circle and Crescent Houses, respectively.
Lawrentians can enjoy a number of sustainability awareness-building events throughout the 29-day competition, including several movie nights, eco-coffee house concerts, and a low-impact lunch featuring healthy, environmentally sustainable , and (of course) delicious food.
Essig noted that there are a number of simple things students can do to lower the amount of electricity they use, including turning off lights and appliances when they aren't in use. "We're also encouraging students to go to the library, rather than use energy in their House, in the evening and during study periods," she said.
Sustainability isn't always a top priority for students, according to Essig, who said it is her job as Sustainability Representative to inform and encourage her fellow Lawrentians. "The most important aspect of both Challenges isn't who wins or loses, but rather that students are educated about ways they can be more environmentally responsible," she said.
Participation in the Green Cup and Save Our Flag competitions are part of Lawrenceville's Green Campus Initiative, a holistic approach to campus sustainability. The Initiative focuses on campus energy, materials, land, and water use applying methods that promote ecological literacy, sustainability education and involve the broader community outside of the School. A critical part of the Initiative is the School's nearly 30-acre, net metered, 6.1 megawatt solar facility, which covers 90 percent of the School's electrical needs.
For additional information on all Lawrenceville School news, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of public relations, at email@example.com.