Eco Challenge

GW Eco Challenge

Energy | Water | Recycling

Win prizes! Have fun! Save the planet!

Fall 2017 Freshman Eco Challenge launches September 11

Energy and Water Saving Tips

  • Use CFL bulbs, which save 3x as much energy as regular lightbulbs. 
  • Keep your fridge full! The compressor runs less often when it is full of beverages to maintain the temperature.
  • Turn off lights, TV, and 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
  • 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. 15-25% of the energy used by some devices occurs when they are not being used.
  • Use a clothes line or drying rack to dry your clothes instead of a dryer to save energy and money.
  • Only do the laundry when the load is full. The less often you wash, the more you save.
  • Shorten your showers by just one minute to save 150 gallons per month.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth to save 25 gallons per month.
  • Only flush when necessary. Drop your tissues into a waste basket instead.
  • Use concentrated dishwashing liquid or pods so you don't have to pre-rinse!
  • Does the water flow out of your faucet exceptionally fast? Report it to GWFixit to get a steadier water flow. 

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. Students living in residence halls, with the help of Eco-Reps, conserve their water and energy and increase their recycling. Points are tallied at the end of the semester and whichever residence hall has made the biggest effort wins a prize. 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?

For Fall 2017, all freshman residence halls will be participating in a freshman-only Eco Challenge.

All residence halls and townhouses can participate in the spring 2018 Eco Challenge. 

If you are interested in leading your hall to victory, become an Eco-Rep to coordinate hall efforts and promote sustainable living. Contact [email protected] for more information. 

When is Eco Challenge?

Fall 2017 (freshman only) Eco Challenge: 

September 11: Eco Challenge begins

September 28: Recycle Check 

October 18: Recycle Sort

October 19: 2nd Recycle Check 

October 30: Eco Challenge ends

Spring 2018 Eco Challenge (open to all residence halls):



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, a truckload of toilet paper, and puppies (yes, real puppies!) for your hall to play with during the stress of finals. 

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 [email protected] sign up. There is no cap for how many Eco-Reps a hall can have, so don't be discouraged from applying if your hall already has one. The more the merrier in the spirit of sustainability! 


Interested in Becoming an Eco Rep?

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