Chill Out 2007

The first annual nationwide Chill Out contest was held throughout the fall and winter of the 2006-2007 school year. The eight winners were featured in a first-of-its-kind webcast from George Washington University in Washington DC, which was broadcast onto 160 college campuses throughout the country as part of campus global warming events on April 18, 2007.

The webcast featured an address from Al Gore about the important role colleges and universities play in developing solutions to global warming that others should emulate.

Read the Press Release (PDF)

"The projects implemented by the Chill Out winners put them on a fast track toward reducing their emissions of carbon dioxide by 30 percent by 2020 as recommended by the world's scientists." says Julian Keniry, Senior 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 and are well on the pathway toward climate neutrality before mid-century."

Winning schools received 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," said Keniry. "Others should emulate their example so that we can create better career prospects for graduates, reduce our reliance on polluting fossil fuels and build healthier communities. It is a win-win proposition."


2007 Webcast

The first annual nationwide Chill Out contest was held throughout the fall and winter of the 2006-2007 school year. The eight winners were featured in a first-of-its-kind webcast from George Washington University in Washington DC, which was broadcast onto 160 college campuses throughout the country as part of campus global warming events on April 18, 2007.

The webcast, hosted by former NWF Fellow Andrew Lee, featured an address from Al Gore about the important role colleges and universities play in developing solutions to global warming that others should emulate.

2007 Winners and Participants

Grand Prize

California State University - Chico
Jillian Buckholz, Sustainability Coordinator
In December 2006, CSU Chico President Paul Zingg signed the American College and University President Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which calls on campuses to work towards climate neutrality. Chico State has committed to focusing on institutionalizing sustainability into the education of students. Two buildings are registered with LEED, and all new buildings constructed will meet LEED silver requirements. A 300 kW solar array was installed on two campus rooftops. Students have taken the lead to promote sustainability on campus, through projects such as: creating a student fee to fund sustainability projects, retrofitting a residence hall, networking with the Chico community to create sustainability service learning programs, and installing energy saving software on computers.

First Place Winners

Mount Wachusett Community College
Ed Terceiro, Executive Vice President
The college conversion of its all-electrical campus to a biomass hydronic district heating system has drastically reduced GHG emissions, while eliminated woody biomass from the waste stream. This conversion demonstrates the use of a sustainable and locally available feedstock and provided unique educational opportunities for students. This project, along with conservation measures, has resulted in a 24% reduction of GHG over the past four years. MWCC has a cumulative water savings of 12.2 million gallons. By eliminating electricity as a heat source, MWCC has reduced electricity use by 45.97% and saved $2 million. Four new renewable energy courses are in place. US Dept of Energy has awarded MWCC grants for several projects, including wind turbine technology and biomass testing. The College is coordinating 11 states to encourage the use of biobased fuels. The College will soon install a 100kW PV array.

Monmouth University
Patricia Swannack, Vice President for Administrative Services
The University was just named 2006 New Jersey "Clean Energy School of the Year" after entering a statewide competition. Monmouth completed the largest solar installation east of the Mississippi in summer 2006. The solar panels will save $150,000 and 468,569 kwh a year. Over the next 30 years, Monmouth's solar energy will reduce CO2 emissions by 5,000 tons, which is the equivalent to planting 1,500 acres of trees or removing 1,000 cars from the road. The solar system covers 33,000 square feet on roofs of four campus buildings. To engage students, there is a computer generated station that shows energy conservation data in "real time" from the panels. Students were also involved in installing the solar panels.

Richard Stockton College
Jason Simmons, Student and Director of Stockton Action Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE)
Projects include the world's largest closed-loop geothermal heating and cooling system, solar PV arrays, and a 200 kW fuel cell. The geothermal unit reduces the school's electric consumption by 25% and natural gas consumption by 70%. The unit has decreased the college's CO2 emission by 13% since 1990 and saves the school $330,000 annually. The fuel cell was installed in 2002, and provides 10% of the total energy for the campus. The fuel cell is centrally located on campus and is covered in explanatory diagrams making it a teaching tool for students, faculty, staff and other professionals. The PV array (18kW) saves the college $3,500 a year. This past year Stockton hosted the tenth annual International Conference on Energy Storage. 

2nd Place Winners

Oregon Institute of Technology
John W. Lund, Director of Geo-Heat Center
Due to the high energy costs on the original campus, a new campus was constructed to take advantage of geothermal energy that was known to exist in the community. In the early 1960s, three deep wells were drilled taping geothermail hot water. This hot water now heats the entire campus of 650,000 sq ft, saving about $1,000,000 annually in heating a hot water costs. The Geo-Heat Center was established on campus in 1974 to provide information and technical assistance for people and organizations to develop and utilize geothermal energy, while also providing tours to the campus and community. The campus administration is proposing to drill a well into a fault to generate 100% of the campus’s electricity and construct a geothermally heated greenhouse and aquaculture facility to train individuals. The proposals will be used as a training facility and showcase. The staff of four people has provided technical assistance on geothermal energy use to every state in the Union as well as over 50 countries.

University of California, Santa Barbara
Ryan Schauland, Sustainability Coordinator
In 2005 students from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management created a Master’s group project entitled "Campus Climate Neutral" and sought to write their thesis on the feasibility of a carbon-neutral campus. One recommendation of this study was the certification of the campus's CO2 emissions through the California Climate Action Registry. At a public university dealing with tightening budgets, facilities began to implement energy conservation. Campus-wide lighting retrofits, motion sensors, efficient chillers, and variable frequencies, and efficient chillers are several projects that USCB initiated, resulting in a reduction of CO2 by 8100 tons per year. To educate the campus, Facilities operates sustainability and energy specific websites. In addition, the Green Campus Program runs the "Energy Conservation Competition" in residence halls, pitting halls against one another to lower energy use. UCSB has found ways to provide increased space for research, education, and living while limiting the growth of our environmental impact.

Oberlin College
John Peterson, Environmental Studies Program Chair
A group of students and a professor, John Peterson, developed the "Campus Resource Monitoring System" (CRMS)--an automated monitoring system and website that gathers, processes and displays data on energy and water use in dormitories. The premise is that real-time data can be used to education, motivate and empower students to conserve resources. For a two week period in 2005, dorms competed to see who could reduce consumption the most, getting 80% of the student body to participate. Overall dorms reduced electricity by 32%, with the winning dorms at 56%. During the two week competition, students conserved 68,000kWh, saving $5100, and reducing emissions by 150,000 lbs of CO2. The student team won EPA"s "People Prosperity and the Planet" design competition and were able to expand the project to 18 dorms and 10 student houses. A conservative estimate is that CRMS will save Oberlin $66,000/yr in electricity costs. Three students who worked on this project formed, a company that is now implementing similar technology on many other college campuses and K-12 schools.

The Lawrenceville School
Shamsa Mangalji, Student and Member of Students for Environmental Leadership
Students for Environmental Leadership Coalition (SELF) is promoting the Green Cup Challenge, an inter-scholastic energy saving competition between 15 Northeastern boarding schools. Last year was the first year of the Green Cup Challenge, where three schools participated saving 398,370 lbs of CO2. This year the plans are to increase the program substantially. SELF made a school-wide presentation regarding global warming and events for the month to promote the Challenge. Projects on campus involve a student biodiesel manufacturing group and the beginnings of an organic garden to provide food for the dining hall. Awareness events include Lawrenceville Dinners in the Dark candlelit dinners to cut down on electricity in the dining halls, a Trashion Show students are encourage to be creative with trash and make clothes out of it, and a Low Impact Lunch where students will learn how food choices affect their personal energy output. Students also have a weekly movie series playing in the dining center. They have screened An Inconvenient Truth, Who Killed the Electric Car?, and other similar movies. Projects are featured with Do Something (, as Shamsa Mangalji is a Youth Advisory Committee Member for.

Video Entry Winners

Temple University's "Philly Eco Kids"


Towson University's "Towson Energy Activists"


All Essay Entrants

American University
Anderson University
Appalachian State University
Ball State University
Bowdoin College
Bucks County Community College
Cape Cod Community College
Case Western Reserve University
College of the Atlantic
Cy-Fair College
Dickinson College
Furman University
Green Mountain College
Hartwick College
Harvard College
Illinois Institute of Technology
Juniata College
Lawrence Technical University
Lourdes College
Massachusetts College of Art
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Mesalands Community College
Messiah College
Michigan State University
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Northern Kentucky University
Northland College
Oberlin College
Pace University
Paradise Valley Community College
Rady School of Management, UCSD
Salisbury University
Santa Monica College
Southern Methodist University
Southern New Hampshire University
St. John's University/College of St. Benedict
Stanford University
Swarthmore College
The Berkshire School
The Lawrenceville School
Tidewater Community College
University of California, Davis
University of California, Santa Barbara (3)
University of Alaska, Anchorage
University of Colorado, Boulder
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of Michigan
University of Montana
University of Nevada, Reno
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
University of Southern Maine
University of Washington
Washington College
Washington University
Whatcom Community College
Willamette University
Worcester State College

YouTube Entries

Alma College
Appalachian State
Berea College
Berkshire School
Colby College
College of the Atlantic
Colorado School of Mines
Cy-Fair College
Harvard University
Juniata College
Middlebury College
Northern Kentucky University
Northland College
Ohio University
Pacific University
Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
Portland State University
Towson University
UNC Chapel Hill

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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.

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