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Press Release

Bard College Students Finish in Top Ten in Nationwide Electricity Conservation Competition

Darren O'Sullivan

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Bard College finished in the top ten for electricity reduction in Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) 2014, a contest in which more than 265,000 students at more than 100 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada worked to conserve electricity and water. Students collectively saved over 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity (equivalent to averting 3 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere) and nearly 476,000 gallons of water, or the equivalent of 1.8 million water bottles, in this year’s contest. The competition is sponsored by Lucid, the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the National Wildlife Federation, and the Alliance to Save Energy.

“This competition was not only a win for our campus’s electrical consumption, but also a testimony to Bard’s commitment to becoming a green campus,” said Carl Amritt ’17, Bard’s CCN competition director and EcoRep Coordinator for Bard’s Office of Sustainability. “The little changes students make in their lives can have a substantial impact on their environment. Thanks to the hard work and diligence of the Bard Office of Sustainability and Bard EcoReps program, we were able to host a series of events to encourage students to power down and leave their dorms. We tabled and polled in student spaces to bring attention to energy-conscious practices that students can adopt. This included unplugging vampire electronics, reducing thermostats when you are not in the room, changing your incandescent light bulbs to compact-fluorescent bulbs, and reducing your daily water consumption.”

From February 3 to April 25, students, faculty, and staff unplugged unused electronics, took shorter showers and turned off lights in common areas, to see which campus buildings could reduce the most energy and water use. Participants organized events, utilized social media, and launched creative marketing campaigns to motivate their peers to take personal actions and encourage change in building operations. Through thousands of direct actions and collective effort, CCN participants demonstrated that personal actions can significantly reduce energy use and advance the sustainability of their schools.

“This tangible mobilization of hundreds of thousands of students reducing energy consumption, promoting sustainability, and actively mitigating the effects of climate change shows that the next generation is ready for change and is no longer willing to wait for decision makers to address the issues at hand,” said Hannah Debelius, USGBC Students program manager, the Center for Green Schools at U.S. Green Building Council.

To learn more about the program, visit

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This event was last updated on 05-06-2014