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Student Homes take the Energy Cup Challenge
When student homes were challenged to reduce energy consumption during the month of March, the high school girls of Edgewater rose to the challenge by turning down the thermostat, unplugging lamps and electronics when not in use, teaming up on loads of laundry, taking shorter showers, and using the gas grill instead of the oven.
By month’s end, they had reduced electricity use by nearly 44 percent -- the biggest reduction among all 23 student homes who joined the challenge. The carbon dioxide emissions they saved is equivalent to emissions from burning 106 gallons of gasoline.
Student home Edgewater achieved their results with a lengthy list of changes. Among them: limiting laundry days and having the girls combine laundry for fewer loads; confined homework and other after-dark activities to certain areas of the home to cut back on lighting; and cut shower times in half. And they also held each other accountable by doing random checks throughout the home to make sure energy wasn’t being used unnecessarily.
The Elementary Division girls of student home Eisenhower have always been energy conscious, so it was difficult to find additional ways to reduce consumption, says Houseparent Craig Cowan.
“We already turn off lights and only run the washer, dryer, and dishwasher when they are full,” Cowan says. “So we had to pay more attention to the little things. We unplugged things when not in use. Did not use alarm clocks in every room. Turned computers off, instead of letting them sleep. Turned refrigerator and milk cooler back a little more. Cooked on the grill when we could.”
The result: a 7.19 percent reduction in energy use. “I think that shows we were doing a good job before,” Cowan adds. “But the girls had fun with the challenge.”
The Middle Division boys of student home Sherman reduced energy consumption 34.16 percent. Houseparents Brian and Sharon Stalker report that no out-of-the-ordinary measures were taken to achieve the goal. The boys simply became more aware of how and when they used energy and took simple steps, such as turning down the thermostat and turning off lights and electronics when not in use.
In commending the students and houseparents of all participating student homes, Elliott Robinson, MHS vice president of Administration said, “Your conscious efforts to reduce electric consumption during the competition period has resulted in an aggregate reduction of 5,727 kilowatts of energy consumption. In practical terms, you have contributed to the elimination of four metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”
“I hope you agree that the alterations in daily student home routines, other sacrifices, and strategies employed during the competition period were worth the result,” Robinson added. "Learning opportunities demonstrate how even simple changes in our daily lives can have a tremendous impact on our environment.”
Robinson and Plant Operations Manager Jeffrey Tillett presented each winning home with an Energy Cup trophy to mark their achievements.
Student home Edgewater received an Energy Cup trophy from VP of Administration Elliott Robinson in recognition of their environmental stewardship. Plant Operations Manager Jeffrey Tillett (foreground) also was on hand at the trophy presentation.
The boys of student home Sherman with Houseparents Sharon and Brian Stalker, Robinson, and Tillett.
The girls of Eisenhower with Robinson and their trophy.