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Lawrenceville has been involved in the Green Cup Challenge for six years, with environmental awareness spreading through annual reduction of energy consumption.
The Green Cup Challenge (GCC) started as an inter-dorm event at Phillips Exeter Academy in 2003. During the school year of 2005-2006, the GCC became an interscholastic competition between Lawrenceville, Northfield Mount Hermon, and Phillips Exeter Academy. In 2006, Monica Zhou ’08 designed an imaginative and informative logo for the Green Cup Challenge. Just the following year, the competition grew to include 15 schools, and by 2007 expanded to include 40 schools. In the spring of 2008, the Green Cup Challenge became an official program of the Green Schools Alliance, driven by schools and for schools. The Green Cup Challenge encourages a proliferation of environmental awareness and sustainability in both teachers and students alike. The Challenge takes place every February to emphasize increased energy consumption in winter, and its goal is to achieve a total of 7% energy reduction.
The GCC serves as a part of Lawrenceville’s Green Campus Initiative, a proposal to focus on campus energy, water and material use to support ecological education and environmental awareness. Director of Sustainability Samuel H. Kosoff ’88 supports Green Cup as a “great way to make people are of what they’re using, and when they are [aware of it], they can change and improve it.” This past February, the Green Schools Alliance and members of Green Cup reduced a total of 1,030,393 kilowatts and saved 1,566,414 pounds of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, a total 5.3 percent of energy was saved. Lawrenceville, a member of a Mid-Atlantic group of schools, reduced an average 7.2 percent, the fourth best participant in their bracket. Future goals for the Green Cup include extending energy savings to saving waste as well. Kosoff suggests that waste products could also be calculated (compost, trash, etc.) to add a further dimension to the challenge. Infastructure changes may also reduce Lawrenceville’s footprint. For example, the newly installed solar panels will cover approximately 90 percent of the School’s energy needs. Kosoff adds, “[The] cool thing about Green Cup is that it creates awareness in other sustainable acts, not just [electricity].” Student Council Sustainability Representative Kearney McDonnell ’12 believes that sustainability can become habit with the values instilled in Green Cup. McDonnell commented on the goal of this event, “The goal of Green Cup Challenge is to change kids mindsets. The goal is for people to become more mindful; hopefully over a month they become more conscious.”
Our annual engagement in the GCC continues to sharpen our sense of environmental awareness through friendly and well-intended competition. As times change and energy becomes a more significant global issue, Lawrenceville continues to educate its students through purposeful events.
- Claire Crowley ’14