What is Ecolympics?
Ecolympics is a three-week water and electricity conservation competition and community event series focused on sustainability topics. In 2015 the competition ran from April 9—30.
Ecolympics began as a competition between the dorms and now has expanded to all the city schools! During the competition, Oberlin will be home to dozens of community events ranging from film screenings to community service, from amazing guest speakers to how-to demonstrations.
At the college, the Ecolympics competition is between dorms to reduce electricity and water use. The two dorms that reduce their electricity or water use by the largest percentage take the win! A third winner will be crowned for participating in the most Ecolympics events, per capita. Co-op kitchens also participate in electricity.
Oberlin’s event is part of Campus Conservation Nationals — a quarter million students at 150 colleges and universities are holding their own competitions this spring, working collectively to reduce electricity by one gigawatt hour.
Why does this matter?
About half of each dorm’s electricity consumption is directly controlled by its occupants by what they plug in and turn on. Oberlin is working hard towards its goal of carbon neutrality by 2025, but we need your help. Buildings are responsible for ⅔ of electrical use and 12% of water consumption in the Unitred States. Last year, electricity use accounted for about half of Oberlin College’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Students, faculty, and staff each used an average of almost 7,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 15,000 gallons of water on the Oberlin campus. Let's work to reduce the amount of electricity and water we use on campus.
How do I compete?
- Work with your dormmates to reduce water and electricity use during the competition (see tips below).
- Go to oberlin.edu/dormenergy to track your dorm’s resource use, connect to your Facebook account, and make commitments to conserve. Some dorms have electricity monitored and displayed for each floor or wing.
- Attend Ecolympics events to earn tickets for prizes raffled off at each event. All tickets will be collected and tallied so that the end of the competition, your dorm can win for participation.
Who wins and what do they win?
Individual prizes include a variety of things! From glass water bottles to handmade mugs from the pottery co-op to gift baskets to a bike!
- Prizes will be raffled off at every event.
- Everyone who fills out a ticket will be entered into the participation prizes for their dorm.
- Community members (and non-dorm dwellers) can also win raffle prizes, just not the dorm participation prize.
Three winners will receive an ice cream party AND a dorm renovation such as a water refill station, apple tree, or drying racks:
- Dorm with the largest reduction in electricity use
- Dorm with the largest reduction in water use
- Dorm whose residents accrue the most points via turning in tickets (by percentage)
- *A co-op kitchen will win an ice cream party for electricity reduction as well.*
How the winning dorms are determined
The Building Dashboard compares resource use during the competition to a baseline period earlier in the semester and computes a percent reduction from that baseline. Because we look at percent reduction (and not absolute reduction), small dorms can compete against large ones. The dorms with the largest reductions win. In addition, kitchens in dorms are monitored SEPERATELY so even if you have a kitchen in your dorm, you are not at a disadvantage.
Similarly, we will account for differences in dorm populations in calculating the participation dorm winner. That winner will be the dorm that accrues the most Ecolympics tickets per capita by going to Ecolympics events.
Friday, May 08, 2015The 2015 Ecolympics Competition was a huge success! Oberlin continued to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability with large reductions in resource use over the three-week competition that was held between April 9th and April 30th, placing as one of the top 5 water reducers amongst colleges and universities across the United States and Canada participating in Campus Conservation Nationals.
Thursday, May 08, 2014Residence halls and co-ops increased their overall water and electricity savings over last year during the 2014 Ecolympics contest, which took place April 4 through April 25. Oberlin was also one of the biggest water reducers in the Campus Conservation Nationals.
Friday, May 03, 2013Oberlin’s 2013 Ecolympics—a three week competition between dorms to reduce electricity and water use—took place from April 5 to 26. In addition to the competition, there were a myriad of events happening in tandem. Overall, the dorms saved 10,070 kWh of electricity – the average amount of electricity an American home uses in an entire year (or three homes for a year in Europe). The college also saved 54,537 gallons of water, which is equivalent to about 1,500 10-minute showers! In fact, Oberlin College was one of the biggest water reducers nationwide during the competition and was recognized nationally for this feat.
Friday, April 05, 2013The 2013 Ecolympics competition starts at midnight on Friday, April 5, and runs until midnight on Friday, April 26 -- and campus events last until April 27. Ecolympics is a three week competition between dorms to reduce electricity and water use. The two dorms that reduce their electricity or water use by the largest percentage take the win! A third winner will be crowned for participating in the most Ecolympics-sponsored events. In addition to the dorm competition, there are a variety of events happening on campus in conjunction with Ecolympics. This year there are over 30 events in the three weeks of the competition!
- Go to Ecolympics events
- Connect your dorm to Facebook and make commitments to conserve on the Building Dashboard
- Learn more about how you can reduce your resource usage