OFAC bulb art

Emma Rumberg, member of OFAC, works on a light bulb installation in Siegfred Hall. This is among 40 installations promoting the 2011 ResChallenge.

Photo courtesy of: OFAC

OFAC bulb art

Michael O’Neill, Megan Nicklos and Athony Gargano glue light bulbs and various objects onto the installation in Siegfred Hall.

Photo courtesy of: OFAC

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Creative conservation

Ohio Fine Arts Collaborative helps promote Residence Challenge through creative art projects

Residence Challenge is sporting a new look this season, thanks to more than 40 artistic displays promoting energy conservation.

Proposed by Lincoln Hall’s Fine Arts Learning Community, the effort is being spearheaded by the Ohio Fine Arts Collaborative. All projects are intended to highlight the University’s annual energy conservation competition.

“Artists tend to gear towards projects that make a difference. It allows us to be creative, while still promoting the change towards energy conservation,” said OFAC President Megan Nicklos.

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and Residential Housing, Residence Challenge pits residence halls against one another in a race to reduce energy consumption. This year’s theme, the compact fluorescent light bulb, served as inspiration for several of the displays.

One such project involves the creation of more than 40 centerpieces for the University’s upcoming conservation dinners. Each centerpiece is created from old incandescent light bulbs – bulbs which have been swapped out by the Office of Sustainability for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) around campus.

Over the years, more than 1,000 incandescent bulbs have been collected by the Office of Sustainability through the light bulb exchange. According to Energystar.gov, one CFL uses 75 percent less energy than a fluorescent light bulb saves up to $40 in energy costs over the course of its lifetime. 

“The centerpieces are a great way to incorporate the Residence Challenge into the candle-lit dining hall dinners,” said Jill Carlson, graduate assistant at the Office of Sustainability and coordinator of Residence Challenge. “Even if not all the students participate (in Residence Challenge), we hope (the displays) trigger conversations about energy consumption.”

In addition to the centerpiece displays and bulb exchange, the conservation dinners will feature a table for students to get resources about how to save energy.

A second conservation-based installation by OFAC students will be displayed in the art gallery in Siegfried Hall during the week of Feb. 16. The project combines hot glue, paint and light bulbs.

To date, the energy savings from Res Challenge 2011 is surpassing savings from the 2010 competition. According to Interim Sustainability Coordinator Erin Sykes, students are currently using 16,569 less kilowatts per week compared to this time last year.

As of week 3, Residence Challenge leaders included Biddle on East Green, Fenzel on South Green, and Ryors on West Green.

“I think that every positive environmental action a student takes has the potential to influence another student to care about their environmental behavior,” said Sykes. “That type of peer-to-peer influence is what will ultimately change the world.”

Conservation dinners coming to a dining hall near you

Each year, the Office of Sustainability hosts candle-lit conservation dinners as a way to educate students about conservation and promote the competition. This year’s dinners will take place:

• Feb. 9 at Nelson Dining Hall
• Feb. 18 at Boyd Dining Hall
• Feb. 24 at Shivley Dining Hall
• March 3 at Jefferson Dining Hall

Energy-saving tips

•    Unplug appliances that you aren’t using, such as your laptop, lights and printer.

•    Only wash full loads of clothes, and try hang-drying in place of using the dryer.

•    Take shorter showers.

•    Use more daylight when possible. Open your shades!

•    Turn off the water when washing your face or brushing your teeth.

•    Always turn the lights off when you leave a room.