Colleges Lead the Way to Global Warming Solutions

NWF Announces Winners of Campus Chill Out Contest

04-18-2007 // Jennifer Fournelle

Colleges and universities are stepping up climate leadership to confront global warming head on and the winners of the National Wildlife Federation's national competition, Chill Out, exemplify the significant impact they are making. If every campus, business and organization in the country followed the lead set by these schools, global warming pollution could be significantly reduced in this country along with the environmental damage it is causing.

The eight top winners in the Chill Out competition will be featured in a first-of-its-kind webcast on April 18 from George Washington University in Washington DC, which is being broadcast onto almost 200 college campuses throughout the country as part of campus global warming events. The webcast features an address from Al Gore about the important role colleges and universities play in developing solutions to global warming that others should emulate. The webcast will include video of each winning school's global warming project, a panel discussion with representatives from the winning schools, climate scientists, and conservation professionals.

"The projects implemented by the Chill Out winners go well beyond the minimum 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions scientists urge by 2030, putting them well on the pathway toward climate neutrality before mid-Century," says Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. "These schools, and many of the over 100 schools which entered the Chill Out competition, are modeling exactly what the science says should be done."

The Chill Out competition was designed to identify and reward all the cool things institutions of higher learning are doing to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The winning schools are implementing a wide variety of projects that are making a dramatic shift toward clean, renewable sources of energy while saving the schools considerable money on their energy costs.

Some of the best examples are: covering roof space with solar panels to generate electricity; shifting from coal to local renewable sources of biomass to meet all campus electricity needs; meeting all campus heating requirements and saving a million dollars annually with geothermal energy; and using real-time energy monitoring systems to help students and staff track and reduce energy waste.

The webcast will also include a showing of the winning YouTube Chill Out entries. Each winning school featured in the webcast is a leader in the climate field with creative, innovative, yet practical solutions in place with lessons to be learned by all college campuses. Winning schools receive a small grant from the National Wildlife Federation and a copy of the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" for showing on campus.

"Campuses are crucibles for a sustainable future free of global warming pollution," continued Keniry. "Others should emulate their example so that we can leave the world a safe, healthy place for future generations."

Chill Out winners are: California State University, Chico (Grand Prize); Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner, Massachusetts; Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey; Richard Stockton College, Somers Point, New Jersey; Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon; University of California at Santa Barbara; Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, New Jersey; Temple University, Philadelphia, PA; Towson University, Towson, Maryland.

The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program has been an integral part of the campus greening movement since 1989. The nation's 4,100 colleges and universities educate more than 15 million students in any given year making these schools important laboratories for developing creative solutions to major problems facing our nation like global warming.

Chill Out is sponsored in partnership with Earth Day Network, Society for College and University Planning and the Campus Climate Challenge.

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization protecting wildlife for our children's future, www.nwf.org.

For full details on the Chill Out competition go to www.nwf.org/chillout

Contact: Jennifer Fournelle 703-438-6002

Connecting...