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The Mac Weekly - November 20, 2009
Energy Challenge Comes to Mac
By Emily Pancoast
Last Tuesday, I introduced the Minnesota Energy Challenge to Macalester at the monthly faculty meeting. The MN Energy Challenge is an online tool to make pledges to save money and reduce your energy use in a way that works for you. A fun part about the energy challenge is that you can be part of a team that will show the collective energy savings and the amount of CO2 that a team has avoided producing. Before the presentation, Macalester was ranked No. 139 out of 140 school teams. We were second to last, with the U of M in 6th place, and Augsburg, St. Thomas, St. Olaf, and Carleton all beating us.
Now, we have President Rosenberg and 24 other faculty members on the team! We are ranked No. 22, and collectively have pledged to save $7,248 and 249,681 pounds of CO2. All students, staff and faculty are welcome and encouraged to join the team to walk the walk of Macalester's environmental values and reach our goal of 100 members.
Macalester is unique in its commitment to the environment. President Rosenberg signed the President's Climate Commitment, and we now have a Sustainability Office and a Sustainability plan. To help us reach the goal of carbon neutrality by 2025 and zero waste by 2020, it will take a combined effort of everyone in the Macalester community. Though the MN Energy Challenge mostly engages home energy use, there are still a lot of actions that are applicable to renters and students living in the dorms, especially concerning heating and electricity to power mini-fridges. The commuting of faculty alone accounts for 3 percent of the campus carbon emissions. The effect of taking actions to save energy (and money) is magnified and empowering if they are done in a group, so join the Macalester Energy Challenge Team.