During Sustainability Day, environmental engineering junior Darin Son and environmental management and protection senior Ben Christensen run the Green Campus Booth in the University Union. Rachel Marquardt | Mustang News

In an effort to impact the daily routines of students,  Cal Poly’s Green Campus Program will be holding the 10th Annual Conservation and Diversion Challenge (AC/DC) to motivate students living in the red bricks to use less electricity and water.

The students living in the red brick that uses the least electricity and water during the challenge will be rewarded a $600 ice cream party by Green Campus.

The event runs from Oct. 19 to Nov. 8, with the ice cream celebration taking place Nov. 9. During the three weeks of the challenge, all students will be able to attend events promoting sustainable living, such as a Donuts and Documentary night, a Trivia night and a Neon Dance.

AC/DC Coordinator and business junior Rodrigo Rico organized the event, and is responsible for gathering data from the dorms.

Green Campus’ goal is to have $4,500 of net savings, $1,500 more than last year. They are hoping to reduce electricity use to 25 percent, five percent more than last year, and to increase water use reduction to 15 percent. These numbers will all be tracked through meters in the red brick buildings.

“This competition is more for the students to have fun, it’s not for housing to save money really, it’s for students to realize that there are other ways to be sustainable and it’s fun to do it with friends,” Rico said.

The challenger kicked off Oct. 19 with Sustainability Day. Sustainability Day promotes aspects of green living such as sustainable eating. Sustainability Day offers events such as watching documentaries and coloring a sustainability poster made up of 45 individual colored-in squares.

Though Green Campus is coordinating the event, they are not the only ones working to promote it.

Eco Reps, a student club that promotes sustainability on campus, is working with Green Campus to encourage sustainability in the dorms.

One way Eco Reps is promoting AC/DC through Dorm Storms where they give out Green Room Certifications. Eco Reps will be going to red bricks and asking students to fill out a survey to see how “green” their daily life is. If students complete the survey and obtain a certain score, they will receive a “Green Room Certified” sticker on their door and will have a chance to win prizes in a raffle.

“This year we are trying to see how much Green Room Certifications will help AC/DC. During the event we will still be doing dorm storms and giving out the certifications while also letting people know that there’s a competition happening,” Eco Reps Coordinator and environmental earth and soil sciences junior Adriana Long said.

Long encourages students in the red bricks to understand how each resident can have a personal impact on not just the AC/DC challenge, but the planet.

“It’s all about the little things, like unplugging all of your devices from the wall when you aren’t using them, because it still uses energy, turning off the lights in the hallways when no one is in there, cutting down showers to 10 or 5 minutes, just being more conscious about the little things,” Long said.

Resident advisors in the red bricks were also taught about the event and told how to motivate the freshmen on their floor to be sustainable.

“I think if I can get everyone in my building to know what AC/DC is and to know why we are doing it, why it’s important to save electricity and water, that’s success in itself because then they’ll be more aware of it in their lives,” Tenaya Hall resident advisor and business sophomore Elise McCutchen said.

As freshmen become more aware of the event, some say they are looking for ways to be competitive among their floors in order to win the $600 prize.

“I’ve been talking with other residents in Tenaya, and we’ve been talking about decreasing the amount of time we take showers. We are all pushing each other to cut them down to five minutes at least,” business freshman Grace Burnite said.

Burnite is in the Net Impact Club, which focuses on reducing the impact one has on
the environment.

“I’m always trying to reduce my own impact, but now it’s on a larger scale because it’s between all the different dorms. I’ve always had a passion for that,” Burnite said.

To stay updated on who is in the lead, all scores and statistics for each redbrick can be found online at bit.ly/ACDC2017.

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