East Campus sweeps Office of Environmental Policy's Eco Madness competition

East Campus, home to Eco House, swept the Office of Environmental Policy’s annual Eco Madness competition yet again this year, with Whitney and Holcomb Hall boasting the most sustainable energy usage on campus. (Rebecca Newman/The Daily Campus)

East Campus, home to Eco House, swept the Office of Environmental Policy’s annual Eco Madness competition yet again this year, with Whitney and Holcomb Hall boasting the most sustainable energy usage on campus.

Whitney Hall came in first for energy usage reduction with a decrease of 35.4 percent, followed by Batterson Hall in Northwest at 21.1 percent and Grange/Hicks Hall, also part of East Campus, with an 18.1 percent reduction. Holcomb Hall had the least energy usage per capita at 2.9 kilowatts per hour, followed closely by Batterson Hall’s 3.2 kWh and Alsop A/B with 3.3 kWh on West Campus.

On the wetter side of things, Shippee Hall achieved the greatest reduction in water usage this Oct. at 34.8 percent, trailed by Buckley Hall’s 17.4 percent reduction and a comparatively meager 8.6 percent decrease in use by Holcomb Hall. Rogers Hall in North West, however, had the lowest per capita water usage at just 22 gallons a day, with North West’s Russell Hall using 25.3 gallons and Batterson 25.5 gallons.

The statistics used in the competition are based on metering data available live on the Facilities Operations and Building Services website.

Briana Church, the OEP intern who organized Eco Madness 2015, said the student eco captains for each dorm were a huge part of getting the word out about sustainability at UConn.

“They’re just real cheerleaders for the competition, they help us to spread tips and tricks on how to conserve energy and water,” Church said.

The Eco Madness competition was organized by the OEP as part of Campus Sustainability Month throughout Oct. OEP intern Rose Croog said her department focused mostly on promoting environmental lectures and community farmer’s markets to foster further conversation about sustainability at UConn.

She also handed out green cupcakes last Thursday, Oct. 29 to students who had liked the OEP’s facebook page to spread awareness about their programs.

“What we really wanted to emphasis was getting the Office of Environmental Policy name out there and what we do to promote sustainability at UConn,” Croog said.

Eric Grulke, a sustainability coordinator at UConn, said encouraging students to turn off lights, take shorter showers and run full loads of laundry during Eco Madness has resulted in a lasting reduction in energy and water usage each year.

“It’s the little things,” Grulke said. “The whole mindset of the university is going more toward conservation which is great.”


Kimberly Armstrong is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.armstrong@uconn.edu.