The Great Green Challenge

Some 200 schools will participate in this year"s Green Cup Challenge to reduce energy use.

For the next month, at least 200 schools across the U.S. will participate in the Green Cup Challenge, a student-led challenge to reduce electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions in our nation's schools. Created in 2006 as an interschool competition between East Coast private schools Phillips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire), Northfield Mount Hermon (Massachusetts) and the Lawrenceville School (New Jersey), the challenge, now in its fourth year, hopes to raise awareness about climate change and encourage young people to recycle and conserve.

This past week, participating schools recorded their official electrical meter readings and started conserving. Schools will input their energy use readings to the Green Cup website three more times before the final reading is recorded on February 22nd. The school with the biggest decrease in energy use will be declared the winner.

Last year, Green Cup Challenge participants reduced total carbon emissions by 2.5 million pounds. This year, with nearly twice as many schools participating, even greater savings are anticipated. Although the competition has officially begun, interested schools and students can still visit the Green Cup Challenge website to sign up and join in the effort to conserve and reduce energy.