UCSB is determined to win the inaugural UC-wide Cool Campus Challenge, a 10-week online contest that rewards students, faculty, and staff who take simple measures to reduce their carbon footprints. Each week, the challenge focuses on different everyday actions, such as using public transportation and turning off the lights, that will help the UC system achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, the UCSB Current reported.
In the Cool Campus Challenge, UC students, staff, and faculty earn points for their campus and department each time they perform a task to reduce their carbon footprint. Only the UC with the most points will be named “Coolest UC Campus,” but campuses that rally the most points will be entered in a raffle to win prizes. The contest, which began last Tuesday and will continue until December 10, has already reached more than 5,000 participants, according to the Cool Campus Challenge website. The challenge —
a collaboration between the University of California and the UC Berkeley Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory — is the first and largest UC-wide effort to become carbon neutral, according to the UCSB Current.
In a UCSB press release, Mo Lovegreen, sustainability director at UCSB, described the contest as many small efforts that together enact large change. Lovegreen said, “If you are in an office, it could include converting to using an LED task lamp rather than overhead lights, turning off equipment that is not in use, or simply wearing a sweater rather than using the heater.” Ultimately, as Lovegreen said, “All these little things add up to big reductions.”