Students Compete in Eco-Challenge, Commit to More Sustainable Living

PhilaU Townhouses C, D and H are taking sustainability to the next level as they compete in a month-long Eco-Challenge in October. Hosted by the University’s Sustainability Committee, the students living in the three Townhouses are challenged to not only waste less and recycle more, but also find alternative ways to lesson their overall carbon footprint.

The Eco-Challenge kicked off when residents of the Townhouses were given $100 per Townhouse to use for any supplies they feel will increase their ability to live sustainably. The challenge began Friday, Oct. 1 and runs through Oct. 31. As one of the requirements for the Eco-Challenge, each townhouse has to maintain a blog, detailing their experiences.

Townhouse C residents include Kyle Burke, Nick Germani, Kevin Giambri, Josh Greenberg and Martin Perkins. Townhouse D residents include Danielle Cunha, Stephanie Estrada, Dominique Romola, Courtney Heffin Trayer and Samantha Wolfe. Townhouse H residents include Christopher Anderson, Vladimir Anokhin, Michael Gottlieb, Michael Stankovitch and Joseph Wengloski.

Their activities can be followed on their blogs at

“Our first week to live green was a lot harder than we thought,” noted Townhouse D residents on their blog about altering their living habits. “Certain aspects like turning the lights off when leaving a room slipped our minds often. We started to unplug unnecessary items that we don’t use often. We rely more on natural light as much as possible. We have a timer in the shower to reduce our shower length. It wasn’t too hard to reduce our time in the shower, but we quickly realized how fast time goes. We plan to continually reduce that time week by week.”

The Townhouses are monitored each week in the following categories:
• Electric (least kw wins)
• Water (least cubic feet wins)
• Recycling (most pounds wins)
• Trash (least pounds wins)

Students in Honors Environmental Science class taught by Anne Bower, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, serve as the technical advisors for the Eco-Challenge, measuring and analyzing each Townhouse’s activities. The class is also researching greener lifestyle choices and recommending those activities that will provide a more sustainable living experience.

The winning Townhouse will receive a cash prize at the beginning of the spring 2011 semester. Follow the Townhouses at

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