Megawatt Madness 2018

The time to save energy is now. These next few weeks mark Megawatt Madness, the yearly competition between dorms on campus to determine which dorm decreases their energy use the most. This competition is put on in attempt to make the campus more sustainable and have students become more aware of their energy usage and their impact. The energy decrease is measured by percentage, so there is no advantage for larger or smaller dorms. Everyone is on a level playing field. Though some people may be more passionate about the actual content of this competition of saving energy and the environment more than others, everyone can get fired up about a dorm competition. Especially when there is a prize involved.

Megawatt Madness is split up into three weeks, with winners awarded at the end of each week. The first week is a brother-sister dorm competition, the second week is a rivalry competition, and the third week’s award is given to the individual reducer of the week. So, you have an incentive to continually reduce your energy for the new competitions each week. At the end of the three weeks, the ultimate energy reducer dorm, the one that saved the most energy throughout the entire competition, wins a Chipotle Catered Sustainability Trophy Presentation. With this award comes a trophy, bragging rights, and Chipotle, making it an honor very much wanted.

So, if you ever need a reason to become passionate about energy, or if you were looking for a chance to act on opinions you already have, now is the time. It seems that the same dorms tend to do well the past few years, so it’s time to shake it up. Howard’s collaboration on their mini-fridges last year that brought them the title needs to be beat. Saving energy and participating in this competition can be pretty simple. You can unplug your chords when you’re not using them, turn off any lights when no one is there, wash laundry on cold, and air dry your clothes. Or, if you’re feeling competitive and only want to reduce the energy specifically for your dorm, you can do your laundry in a neighboring dorm (on hot), do all of your printing in your rival dorm, and basically just do everything involving energy and/or electricity in any place other than your dorm. Though I suggest doing the non-sabotage tasks in order to truly save energy, it is relatively easy to reduce your energy usage. Every small step can make a huge difference in the long run, and practices done in the competition can turn into habits that save even more energy later.

Is this competition just a ploy created by the administration to save them thousands of dollars on energy costs? Maybe. How much of a difference does this actually make? We’re not sure. Should you still participate to save the environment (and to potentially win food)? Absolutely. These next few weeks can be as impactful as you make them. Whether you choose to fully participate or not, having awareness of energy usage is valuable knowledge. We just need a little competition to push us. May the best (and least energy useful) dorm win.

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