Students Go Green for Climate Challenge

Claremont McKenna students are showing their concern for global warming by participating in the Campus Climate Challenge. The nationwide project helps students push for 100 percent clean-energy policies on both high school and college campuses. Throughout November, students are trying to reduce their energy consumption and raise awareness about global warming.

CMC students also will be competing against the other Claremont Colleges to see which campus can reduce its consumption the most. The project is unique in that this is the first time there has been collaboration between five separate colleges for the Campus Climate Challenge nationwide. Challenge organizers will measure the total energy consumption of each campus for one month. The winner receives a party, funding for campus sustainability measures, and bragging rights.

Pomona College, instrumental in bringing the Challenge to the other campuses, last year pledged to reduce energy consumption by 5 percent, then beat its goal by lowering consumption by 8 percent.

Student organizers relied heavily upon the support of their respective college presidents, as all Claremont College presidents are signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

During November, CMC’s campus has been flooded with events, fliers, and students going door-to-door trying to get maximum student participation by asking CMCers to sign a “sustainability pledge.” In signing, students agree to alter a number of daily energy-wasting habits, such as long showers and leaving cell phone chargers plugged in, even when not in use.

Campus organizers say they hope changes in energy consumption habits will outlast the Challenge, making Claremont McKenna College a model for sustainable living.

—Emily Meinhardt ’10