The National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology program has joined Lucid Design, U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) and Alliance to Save Energy to announce the launch of Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) 2012, a nationwide electricity and water use reduction competition among colleges and universities.
Between Feb. 6 and April 23, 2012, students across the country will compete to achieve the greatest reductions in their residence halls’ electricity consumption over a three-week period of their choosing. The sign-up deadline is Nov. 1, 2011, and more than 100 schools are currently registered for the program.
“Colleges and universities represent the front lines of conservation at a crucial moment in this nation’s history,” said Jen Fournelle, campus program coordinator at National Wildlife Federation. “Students who participate in Campus Conservation Nationals will be laying a solid foundation for their own future energy choices, their schools’ ongoing environmental goals and the health of the planet.”
Schools participating in the competition can choose to compete against buildings on their own campus, or against a select group of peer institutions, with savings from all participants accumulating to reach a national challenge goal of one gigawatt-hour. Using Lucid’s Building Dashboard®, participating schools will be able to instantly compare performance, share winning strategies and track standings among the leading schools and buildings. With support from United Technologies Corp, founding sponsor of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC, Sloan, Sterling Planet and Constellation Energy, CCN is an opportunity to organize students and staff to make immediate and lasting impacts on a school’s carbon emissions and campus culture.
During the CCN 2010 pilot, 40 college and universities in the U.S. and Canada participated in a similar competition, during which they were able to reduce electricity consumption by 508,000 kilowatt-hours. This competition saved $50,200 from campus costs and averted 816,000 pounds of carbon emissions from the atmosphere. The 2012 competition will build on that success and encourages students to brainstorm innovative solutions for how their schools can save energy and cut costs.
"Campus Conservation Nationals encourages students to recognize the significant impact that sustainable behaviors can have on a campus and in a community," said Pat Lane, USGBC Students program lead at the Center for Green Schools. "Competitions like this show that a collective effort, along with a desire to better the built surroundings can lead to positive and lasting change."
“We think that feedback on electricity and water consumption, combined with competitive spirit and incentives, can significantly reduce resource usage in campus buildings,” said Andrew deCoriolis, director of public programs at Lucid. “We hope that this program serves as a model for other universities to become more aware of how they are using their buildings.”
CCN offers valuable educational opportunities, such as enabling students to put conservation fundamentals into practice, as well as environmental and economic benefits. Above all, CCN is designed to empower the future generation of energy and environmental leaders, and foster a culture of conservation within campus communities. To learn more about the competition, join the network or follow leading schools, visit www.CompeteToReduce.org.
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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