151 homes off the grid, 1,554,814 gallons of water saved, 2,642,287 lbs of CO2 diverted from the atmosphere, $157,925 saved.
This is what 250,000 students across the country can do when they take the environment and their energy usage into their own hands for just three weeks. During Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) 2012, these students educated, organized and mobilized to show themselves and their peers that small behavioral changes can drastically effect energy consumption on a large scale.
At the end of last month, we were thrilled to announce the results of the 2012 CCN competition. Nearly a quarter-million students at 150 colleges and universities across the U.S. collectively saved 1739,046 kilowatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to 2,642,287 lbs of CO2 and $157,925 in savings. This close to doubles the original competition goal of one gigawatt-hour.
The environmental movement is torn between two schools of thought. One says that individual actions make no great difference, but that we must change policy and procedure to protect the environment at large. The other holds that if everyone took energy efficiency and environmentalism to heart and acted responsibly at the individual level, our problems would be solved. Students have shown through this competition that the latter strategy can in fact have a great impact. CCN participants are setting a precedent for individual responsibility from which we can all learn.
I want to congratulate our competitors and organizers who participated in this year’s competition. Historically, positive social change has begun on campus and this competition is no different. These students know it is time to work hard and the results from this year’s CCN are proof of that. There is a strong undercurrent of youth building a better world with or without support from those who damaged it. They will become increasingly harder to ignore. Congratulations again to our competitors; I can’t wait to see how much we will save next year!