Light of day: Communications shines again in conservation competition

Publication Date

If you stopped by the Department of Communications and Marketing recently, you might have noticed the building at 69 Union Ave. was dark.

Inside though, it was business as usual for the 10-member team.

For the second straight year, Communications finished first in the College’s annual electricity conservation contest known as “Do It In the Dark.”

For three weeks, two dozen campus buildings vied to cut their energy consumption by unplugging appliances not in use, turning off lights when possible and other steps.

Communications reduced its energy consumption by a staggering 51 percent, outpacing students living at 219 Seward Place, who cut their use by 40.5 percent. Students at 217 Seward Place finished third (18.4 percent), followed by Schaffer Library (16.4 percent) and Ozone House (15.5 percent).

Ten buildings actually increased their energy use during the competition, with students living at 327 Seward at the bottom of the standings, with an overall increase of 12.2 percent.

Communications will get a plaque for finishing first and be treated to a breakfast served by members of U-Sustain.

The department’s efforts helped the College finish second in the New York "Negawatt" Challenge involving members of the New York Six Consortium. Union is a member of the consortium, along with Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University and Skidmore College.

Union reduced its overall energy consumption by 3.5 percent, trailing only Hobart’s 4.7 percent. The other four schools all increased their energy usage during the competition.

“‘Do It In The Dark’ helps our community realize that together we can reduce our consumption and mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said Union Sustainability Coordinator Meghan Haley-Quigley ’11. “And what better way to fuel conservation than with friendly competition between our campus buildings and the NY6?”