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Ohio University students cut CO2 emissions by over 37 tons in two weeks

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 14, 2007) -- In just the first two weeks of the Residence Challenge competition, students living in the residence halls at Ohio University have cut energy use by more than 3.4 percent; the equivalent of keeping 37.7 tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Meanwhile, water use has dropped by up to 40 percent in some halls, through conservation behaviors such as taking shorter showers and reporting leaks. 

The Residence Challenge is Ohio University's annual inter-hall energy and water competition. It runs from Jan. 28 through March 17.

The comeback story of the year thus far has been Wilson Hall's outstanding performance after a lackluster 2006 season, when the hall placed last on West Green. Wilson is now in first place for the second consecutive week, having saved almost 11,000 pounds of CO2. 

The success of the hall may be attributable in part to the "Light It up Right" project, which targeted residents in Wilson, Crawford and Bryan hall for an incandescent-to-compact-fluorescent-light-bulb exchange. Compact fluorescent bulbs use only a sixth the amount of energy consumed by a standard incandescent light bulb to produce the same amount of light. This pilot project will be evaluated as a basis for expanding it in future years to include all residents of the halls.

One winning hall on each green will send its residents on an all-expense-paid trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. The number of participating residents will be calculated based on total tons of CO2 saved by the hall over the course of the competition.

Results of the competition, as well as its implications for minimizing the university's ecological footprint, will be discussed at a free public screening of 'An Inconvenient Truth' at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, in Walter Hall, followed by a faculty-moderated discussion of global warming. Refreshments from the Village Bakery will be served.

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Media Contact: Media Relations Coordinator Jessica Stark, 740-597-2938 or starkj@ohio.edu and  Sonia Marcus, 740-593-0026 or marcuss@ohio.edu

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