Eight colleges and universities from across the United States won national recognition in the National Wildlife Federation's annual competition, Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming. This award program is the nation's only campus competition to promote sustainability and honor U.S. schools that are advancing creative solutions to global warming on their campuses.
Environmental visionaries and advocates from higher education and the entertainment industry came together to celebrate the leadership of these campuses in a 30-minute webcast. The colleges also received a monetary award from the National Wildlife Federation.
"The scientific consensus points overwhelmingly to the need to dramatically curb our global warming pollution in the U.S. by 80 percent or more by 2050 or sooner," said Julian Keniry, Director of Campus and Community Leadership for the National Wildlife Federation. "We applaud these campuses for innovating the technical, design and behavioral shifts necessary to meet this daunting goal. Policy solutions alone are not enough; they must be informed by the unique melding of applied research, student energy, and willingness to experiment, all characteristic of our nation's best colleges and universities."
Chill Out participants have demonstrated effective solutions to global warming. Some treat the campus as a student laboratory for green education and training; others reach out to form supportive relationships with the surrounding community, green their transportation systems, and offer incentives to students to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"This competition and the creativity it represents will be a key part of how we can create a better world: a world with a vibrant, sustainable economy and a healthy earth for all future generations," said former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore.
The 2009 Chill Out webcast was shot by world-renowned cinematographer Eric Adkins ("Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow"), directed by Melissa Balin ("Green Means Go"), and produced by Melinda Esquibel of Mundo Maravilla, Carey Stanton of National Wildlife Federation, and Balin and was nominated by The Imagen Foundation for its positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino culture in entertainment.
The webcast features an all-star cast of students, faculty and staff from the winning campuses and a broad range of advocates and activists in today's environmental movement, including:
Academy Award-Winning producer Lawrence Bender
Actor Courtney Gains ("Sibling Rivalry")
Musician and composer Ethan Gold
Comedian and host of Planet Green's "Wa$ted" Annabelle Gurwitch
Musician Nick Jago
Actor Efren Ramirez ("Napoleon Dynamite")
Actor Alisa Reyes (Nick's "All That")
Founder and CEO of Karmaloop.com Greg Selkoe
Director, screenwriter and actress Angela Shelton
Actor and stuntman Isaac Singleton, Jr.
Producer, first president of eBay and founder of Participant Media Jeff Skoll
Tony-Award-winning poet "Poetri" Smith
Actor Douglas Spain (HBO's "Walkabout")
Actor Michael Welch ("Twilight")
Actor Jose Yenque ("Traffic")
Actor Shawn-Caulin Young ("Dreams and Shadows")
Austin band The Steps
The webcast is a low carbon footprint production, going well beyond the industry's sustainable filmmaking guidelines, and has been recognized by the Environmental Media Association's Green Seal Program for using the film industry's best environmental practices. The production used the Red Camera--a 4K camera system that is filmless and tapeless, cabling directly into a hard drive, eliminating wasted film, tape, and chemicals. The lighting was Lite Panels' LED system, and the lights and production were powered by solar energy thanks to a solar generator provided by Pure Power Distribution and a portable solar-capturing tent from FTL Solar. Even the teleprompters were made from recycled materials!
National Wildlife Federation was thrilled to be nominated by The Imagen Foundation, which strives to bridge the gap between the Latino community and the entertainment industry. The Campus Ecology Program acknowledges the importance of diverse campus communities coming together in the fight for climate action and considers the Chill Out competition a valuable tool in cultivating a diverse group of youth leaders.
The program was part of Earth Day-related events scheduled at more than 275 college campuses, high schools, and organizations nationwide and abroad.
Grand Prize Winner
Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Buzzards Bay, MA The prestigious award was given to Massachusetts Maritime Academy for its efforts to recognize the necessity to introduce sustainability issues into the college curriculum. The Academy emphasizes practical, hands-on education that reinforces the use of emerging technologies on the campus and outside the classroom. Current Academy initiatives include expanded coursework that implements new sustainable energy modules, production of 20 percent of campus electricity with wind energy, and the phasing in of campus hybrid vehicles.
Chill Out Winners
California State University, Long Beach, CA
The state of California has partnered with energy provider SunEdison to bring affordable solar power to the California State University system. These installations will create a zero-emission, 8 MW solar photovoltaic power system, estimated to cut 9,485 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This amount is equivalent to removing 48,937 cars from the road over the life of the energy contract. The California State University system also purchases up to 20 percent of its electricity from green sources.
California State University-Northridge Northridge, CA
CSU-Northridge has a 1 MW fuel cell power plant that is the largest installation at any university in the world. The ultra-clean plant produces 18 percent of the campus's electricity, and simultaneously eliminates costs associated heating, cooling, and maintenance. Fuel cells produce electricity with nearly zero particulate emissions since no combustion takes place. The energy performance gains made possible by the fuel cell installation will save operational expenses and reduce the campus's environment impact for the next quarter decade.
Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA Humboldt State has made alternative transportation a viable option. One of the university's most helpful and innovative projects is the "Jack Pass", an unlimited ride bus pass for all Humboldt students. The proposal was first drafted by the Green Wheels student group to devise and implement an innovative transportation initiative. Since implementing Jack Pass, the Redwood Transit Service announced a 30 percent increase in ridership, which translates to huge reductions in the county's carbon footprint. After the introduction of the Jack Pass, 526 fewer parking permits were sold on the campus which eliminates the need to construct a new multilevel parking structure.
Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT As a result of student activism, the Board of Trustees set an ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2016. Middlebury chose to reduce its carbon footprint by building a biomass gasification plant fueled by local woodchips, and projections show that the new plant will pay for itself about halfway through its 25 year life expectancy. The biomass plant is a giant, complex version of a household woodstove that will help the campus cut its carbon dioxide output by 40 percent, and reduce fuel oil use by 50 percent.
Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH Oberlin, Ohio has used its climate neutral mandate to forge novel alliances between students, college activists and local citizens. The campus has worked to offset 13 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions and save community members $715,000 in utility bills. Oberlin spearheaded a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) exchange called the Light Bulb Brigade. With the help of a donation of 10,000 CFLs, and project preparation in an environmental studies course, the campus worked with local organizations and churches to exchange bulbs with 650 homes. The Light Bulb Brigade achieved an estimated total reduction of 6,400 tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the bulbs.
Video Award Winners
The video winners were selected by the online community through a voting process on GoGreenTube.com.
Longwood University, Farmville, VA
This public institution uses a steam plant that burns sawdust from local saw mills, providing 80 percent of its heat and hot water. The trayless dining hall reduces food waste by 2 tons per month, and the school's health and fitness center is LEED gold certified. Among Longwood's most innovative solution to reduce waste includes the athletic field press boxes that are made from recycled shipping containers.
University of California-San Diego, San Diego, CA <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YMfK6y9TWEo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The video details how the campus saves $12 million dollars a year on energy efficiency and savings. The campus presents many innovative solutions like how it houses computers and servers in climate controlled boxes instead of buildings, collects data with student-built weather stations to increase climate control efficiency, and the school is currently researching pond scum as a biofuel source.
The following campuses, high schools and businesses hosted events to watch the 2009 Chill Out webcast.
Agnus Dei Academy
Allston Development Group - Harvard University
ARAMARK/University of Pennsylvania
Arnkansas State University
Associated Students of Michigan State University
Azusa Pacific University
Ball State University
Bayard Rustin Education Complex
Benjamin Banneker Senior Academic High School
Brookdale Community College
Burlington County College
Caldwell Community Collge & Technical Institute
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
California State University Dominguez Hills
California State University Fullterton
California State University Monterey Bay
California State University Northridge
Cascades Academy of Central Oregon
Charles University Prague
Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
Clinton School of Public Service
College of Southern Nevada
Colorado State University
Community College of Allegheny County
Consigli Construction Co, Inc.
Daytona State College
De Anza College
De La Salle North Catholic HS
Dent Middle School
East Stroudsburg University
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Mennonite University
Eastern Oregon University
Evergreen State College
Florida International University
Foothill Community college
Fresno City College
George Mason University
Good Counsel High School
Grand Rapids Community College
Hawaii Community College
Henry Ford Comm. College
Howard Community College
Humboldt State University
Illinois State University
Indian River State College
Indiana State University
Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University South Bent
Itasca Community College
Johnson IB World School
Kentucky Community and Technical College Phi Theta Kappa
Lancaster Bible College
Lane Community College
Lansing Community College
Largo High School
Lawrence Technological University
Lewis and Clark College
Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School
Lorain County Community College
Luna Community College
Madison Area Technical College
Mars Hill College
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Massasoit Community College
Medical University of South Carolina
Memphis Light, Gas and Water
Mesa Community College
Metropolitan Community College
Miami International University of Art & Design
Michigan State University
Mississippi State University
Missouri State University
Monroe Community College
Montgomery County Community College
Mt. Juliet High School
National Association of College and University Business Officers
Nash Community College
Nashville State Community College
North Dakota State Uniuversity
North Seattle Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
NW Sust. Energy for Econ. Devel.
Oak Grove high school
Oakland Community College
Oakland Community College-Royal Oak & Southfield
Oakland Schools Tech. Campus SW
Ohio University Southern
Olive Havey College
Oregon Institute of Technology
Pennsylvania State University
Pine Technical College
Plymouth State University
Prince William Sound Community College
Project Adventure, Inc.
Prospect Mt. High School
Purdue North Central
Pure Power Distribution
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rockbridge County High School
Sacred Heart University
Saint Peter's College
Sam Houston State University
Seattle Pacific University
Southwest Minnesota State University
Spartanburg Community College
St. Edward's University
Stanly Community College
State University of New York Oneonta
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.