GW Eco Challenge

Energy | Water | Recycling

Win prizes! Have fun! Save the planet!

2016 Winners


Energy and Water Saving Tips

  • Get rid of incandescent light bulbs, which use 3x's as much energy as CFLs. 
  • Keep your fridge full.  The compressor runs less often when it is full of beverages to maintain the temperature.
  • Turn off lights, TV, stereos when you aren't using them.
  • Enable a power-saving feature on your computer so it goes to 'sleep' after 5 minutes of inactivity
  • Kill the Vampire (load)!  Plug stereos, cell phone chargers, DVD players - anything that could draw power while you're away - into a power strip and turn the strip off when you're away for the day.  Vampire load can represent 15-25% of the energy used by some devices.
  • Really want to make a difference - and save some money?  Use a clothes line to dry your clothes instead of a dryer.
  • Only do the laundry when the load is full, the less often you was the more you save.
  • Take shorter showers.  Time yourself.  Shorten it by a minute and you'll save 150 gallons per month.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.  It'll save 25 gallons per month.
  • Only flush when necessary.  Drop your tissues into a waste basket instead.
  • Have a dish washer?  No need to pre-rinse.
  • Does the water flow out of your faucet exceptionally fast?  Contact the Office of Sustainability to have an aerator installed, reducing the flow rate.  If there's a leak, immediately report it to GWFixit.

Get the latest news on Eco-Challenge on the GW's Sustainability Facebook Page.

Eco-Challenge FAQ

What is Eco Challenge?

An epic battle of the GW residence halls in pursuit of the title of most sustainable building on campus and some fabulous prizes. Want puppies to come to your residence hall while you study? Or new water bottle filling stations? Help your residence hall win the Eco Challenge!


How do we get points?

Point System for Eco Challenge


Energy Savings Water Savings Recycling Consistency Points
-5% -10% 3 contaminations  1
-10% -20% 2 contaminations 2
-15% -30% 1 contaminations 4
-25% -50% No instances of contamination 8


Who can participate in Eco Challenge?

All Residence Halls and townhouses must opt-in to participate! At this time the opt-in window has closed.

When is Eco Challenge?

Eco Challenge runs in Springs 2017
  • Round 1: January 31-March 6
  • Round 2: March 7-April 4
  • Winners Announced Earth Day April 22


Why do we do Eco Challenge?

 Conserving electricity and water helps GW lower its carbon footprint and impact we have on our surrounding resources. GW can’t meet its sustainability goals unless everyone contributes.

What are the prizes?

The Grand Prize will go to the hall that reduces their water and energy consumption and produces clean recycling to advance through each round. Past prizes have included water bottle refilling stations, a new stove, and a truckload of toilet paper. 

Division winners will each receive a prize that is to be determined. Don't be discouraged if you don't advance from Round 1! You can still win your Division!

My hall is really big, is it still possible to win?

 Yes! You can still win if you are in a big hall. The water and energy usage numbers for each month are compared to that building's baseline average from that month over the past five years in order to determine the amount of improvement.

For example, if you live in Thurston Hall, your usage numbers in Round 1 will be compared to Thurston's monthly average in the past five years. If you reduce your electric by 18%, water by 21%, and have no instances of recycling contamination - you'll earn 4, 2, and 8 points. This would give Thurston 14 points total for Round 1.

How do I get more involved with Eco Challenge?

Interested in getting more involved? Want to build your environmental skills and gain leadership experience? Want to win prizes for your hard work? Be an Eco-Rep in your residence hall or at large. Eco-Reps help with Eco-Challenge, Recyclemania, tree watering, the green roof and the community garden. Email to sign-up. The Hall that wins usually has the most Eco-Reps.  So encourage your friends to sign up as Eco-Reps or join the cause in any way they can!


Interested in Becoming an Eco Rep?

Interested students can email to become Eco Reps for their residence halls.