“Do It In The Dark” is the energy savings competition between residence halls at PSU and is back for its sixth year! Do It In The Dark was created by students at PSU in 2007 and runs from October 1st through November 30th. It is an annual contest in which the traditional residence halls compete to see who can save the most energy by making conscious efforts to lower consumption and improve energy conservation. The winning residence hall wins ½ price laundry for the month of February! Save energy this year and help us be more sustainable!
Students in the residence halls can work together to try and save as much energy as possible, and the idea is that with the incentive to make some changes we can learn practices that can save us money and help us live more sustainably for a lifetime. Doing simple things like turning off unused appliances, TVs, and game consoles can make a big difference. People interested in being more dedicated can take steps like plugging electronics into a power strip that can be turned off when they are not in use, which eliminates “vampire draw”, which is also called standby power.
“Vampire draw” is the electricity consumed by a device when it is turned off. For example, your television consumes electricity as it waits for you to hit the “on” button on your remote. Similarly your stereo, coffee maker, garage-door opener, microwave oven, clock radio and other electronics are drawing power even when not in use. Yes, even chargers for cell phones and MP3 players siphon energy when plugged in – even if they’re not charging a thing. These kinds of devices have a hidden energy cost that most people are never even aware of. Nationally, phantom loads make up about six percent of our energy consumption. This translates into billions of dollars spent and significant amounts of pollution emitted into our air. (http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~recycle/ssec/download/Phantom%20Load.pdf) So this fall unplug, unplug, unplug and save your residence hall some energy!
The “Do It In the Dark” competition is a cooperative effort by the Office of Environmental Sustainability, The Office of Residential Life, and Physical Plant. These groups work together to publicize the event, create awareness of energy conservation measures students can take in their own lives, and track the amount of energy consumed by the resident halls each week to see who can save the most.
Last year the winners of the 2012 Do It in the Dark energy competition were the students living in Belknap Hall. They reduced their energy consumption 25.23% from the baseline energy usage established in 2009! In second place was Pemigewasset Hall with a 24.28% reduction from 2009 levels. This was followed by Grafton Hall with 22.28% reduction, Smith Hall with 21.11% reduction, Blair Hall with 16.84% reduction, Mary Lyon Hall with 10.25% reduction, and Langdon Woods with 7.09% reduction in energy consumption from baseline use levels.
The residence hall that saves the most energy wins half price laundry for the month of February, and all students know those savings are significant! Thanks go to the Laundry Equipment Company (LECO) of Manchester, NH for their support of this sustainability initiative at Plymouth State University. We look forward to starting the competition October 1st. Do your part to help your hall win!