School reduces energy usage 22 percent to win competition

By Leslie Dinkin

Harvard-Westlake won the Green Cup Challenge by reducing its weekly energy use by an average of 22 percent over the course of the month.

The Environmental Club launched its third annual “Light Outs H-W” campaign at the beginning of February to encourage the use of natural light and power saving techniques such as putting computers to sleep, Environmental Club President Jessica Barzilay ’12 said. The club posted signs around school to raise awareness and enthusiasm for the effort.

“Winning this year was very meaningful because it’s been amazing to see an idea about making a difference grow into a movement,” Barzilay said. “It was never about winning, but it is so rewarding seeing my friends and teachers take the initiative to make a change and help the environment.”

The Green Cup Challenge is a national competition among schools interested in reducing their carbon footprint. The competition included 116 students from 22 schools. Nationally, the Green Cup Challenge prevented 1,567,562 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Barzilay, co-president Kevin Adler ’13, club supervisor Hillary Ethe and vice president Demren Sinik ’13 read electrical meters every week for the competition. Barzilay compared each week’s readings to the baseline she had calculated using the last three year’s utility bills.

This year’s results were Harvard- Westlake’s best out of all three years the school has participated in the competition.