NYU Encourages Dorms to "Switch Off" for the Environment

NYU Unplugged photo

Photo credit: NYU

Here's a shout-out to my alma mater (go Violets!): New York University is giving it up for Earth Day 2009 with its second annual residence-hall energy-reduction challenge.

NYUnplugged, which takes place this month, awards a trophy and a "party in the dark" to the hall that manages to slash its electricity use by the greatest percentage against a baseline of historical usage. (BitTorrent addicts, get up and step away sloooowly from your computers.)Apparently, blackout hootenannies are all the rage with the collegiate crowd because NYUnplugged, which was established through a Sustainability Task Force Green Grant in 2008, has already created results in only its first week. Nearly all residence halls have reduced their demands on the grid, while using 4.84 percent less total energy than they did the same time last year.

You can track the daily results of the challenge online, thanks to live streaming energy-use reports from NYU's "smart" energy meters.

"The ultimate goal," says Jeremy Friedman, project administrator of the Sustainability Task Force, "is that as students compete to conserve the most energy, they will change their consumption habits and re-train themselves to naturally use and waste less."

Party on in the dark, my friends. Party on.

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