Think Green! Kick-Off to First-Ever Res Hall Energy Competition

What do a recyclable toothbrush, a used-battery bag and vegetarian sushi have in common? Well, you could pick them all up Thursday, January 26, when the Green Living Rep Program for HBS dorms hosted its kick-off event in the “cozy” lounge of McCulloch Hall.

Free wine and beer no doubt helped boost attendance. Over 60 attendees were anxious to be wined, dined, and greened throughout the two-hour event. We like to entertain the idea that, even though some showed up only for the toothbrush, most attendees also had an interest in hearing about how small changes in daily behavior can go a long way to save energy and other resources. After all, unless space travel is scaleable enough to emigrate en masse to another planet in the next couple of decades, we are left with our own. What are you doing?

Green Living at HBS
HBS and other Harvard graduate schools are following the lead of college students’ efforts in establishing a program to foster green living on campus. Campus sustainability has been a growing movement nationally and internationally throughout the past decade, but it has moved slower within graduate schools. Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Real Estate Services have proven leaders, in collaboration with the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, to create the Graduate Green Living Program this year – the first of its kind known to exist in the United States.

The Graduate Green Living Program has one grad student per residential building at HBS, HLS, and HRES (One Western Avenue, Peabody Terrace, and Soldiers Field Park). Although students would be hard-pressed to qualify their dorms as a “residence,” it turns out even HBS halls were granted one Green Living Rep each. Anne-Gaelle Pouille (NH, Chase), Newton Maia (NG, Gallatin), Tobi Hartmann (ND, Morris) and Agnes Sauvage (OI, McCulloch) are all devoting some of their precious time to help educate co-residents about how everybody can contribute to making our campus not only well-groomed and high-tech but also sustainable for future generations of HBSers. We are giving them grade disclosure, so don’t you think the least we owe them in return is a clean environment?

HBS Energy Competition
In order to foster competition in a friendly environment, what’s better than an environment-friendly competition? Following this impeccable logic, the January 26 kick-off event marked the beginning of a month-long series of electricity measurements in order to determine which dorm is the most sensitive to altering its energy-consumption patterns. After the competition ends on February 24, the winning hall will get to choose between a delectable Finale dessert party or movie tickets for all residents. Results will be displayed weekly at the entrance to the Grille. Feel free to cheer for your favorite team and boo the laggards.
And whether you live in the dorms or not, this may be a good time to ask yourself what sort of a responsible leader you aspire to be.

Top 10 Energy Conservation Tips from Your Green Living Reps

Want to win the HBS Energy Competition? Looking for ways to save money in your apartment? Or just want to do your daily do-good deed to save the environment? Here’s how you can:

1)Turn off your computer, lights, stereo,ÿTV and other appliances when not in use.

2)Unplug adapters (like your cell phone charger and MP3 player) when not in use, as the charger will use energy 24/7 even when your item is not charging. Use a power strip for items (like an entertainment system) and turn power strip off when not in use.

3)Use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of incandescent light bulbs.

4)During the daytime, use natural lighting when possible – open your blinds to brighten up the room. During the night, close your blinds or curtains to keep the heat in your room.

5)Save energy with no effort by enabling your computer’s energy-saving features. Always turn your computer off if you will not be using it within the next hour.

6)Consider energy-efficient computer systems and monitors when you replace a system. Flat-screen monitors use 50-70% less energy.

7)Turn your refrigerator temperature down (while retaining a healthy level). Most refrigerators are set at a temperature that is unnecessarily cold, resulting in accidentally almost-frozen food.

8)Buy ENERGY STARr-qualified models.

9)Use cold for the wash cycle (instead of hot) when you do your laundry, and always rinse in cold. Colder water also ensures your fabric colors will not run!

10)Consider using a clothing rack or hangers to air-dry your laundry instead of using the dryer. This will help the quality of your clothing last longer and the extra humidity from the drying clothes can also make your room feel warmer!