Nationwide College Contest To Reduce Carbon Footprint Gains Momentum

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America's Greenest Campus Contest Reduces 5.9M Lbs of CO2, Equivalent to Taking 500 Cars Off the Road: U. of Maryland & George Mason Leading the Way

Students don't stop living sustainably just because we're not on campus, and all of our reductions will still count towards the contest.

In its first two months, America's Greenest Campus, the nationwide contest where colleges compete against each other in reducing their carbon footprint, has grown to over 10,000 individuals and 450 colleges participating to win up to $20,000 in cash prizes. The contest, which launched on March 31 with great fanfare and support from Hip-Hop mogul and globalGrind.com Editor-in-Chief Russell Simmons, BarelyPolitical.com's Obama Girl, and actor and activist Ed Begley, has helped spearhead renewed vigor among college students to modify their behavior and find ways to improve the state of the environment and save money.

The top-ranked colleges* in the first two months of the contest include:

1.    University of Maryland - College Park
2.    George Mason University
3.    Rio Salado College
4.    University of California - Davis
5.    American University
6.    Oberlin College
7.    Carnegie Mellon University
8.    Stanford University
9.    Harvard University
10.    Penn State University

In addition to the growth in the number of students, faculty and alumni signed up for the contest, America's Greenest Campus has already generated the following reductions:

  •     $1.5 million saved
  •     5.9 million lbs of CO2 avoided, the equivalent of taking 500 passenger vehicles off the road or the annual energy use of 250 homes
  •     1.6 million kWh of energy reduced
  •     5.2 million gallons of water saved
  •     39,000 gallons of gasoline saved

America's Greenest Campus is a partnership between SmartPower, the nation's leading clean energy and energy efficiency marketing organization, and Climate Culture, the premier online carbon measurement and reduction utility, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Climate Culture manages the measurement, tracking and recommendations used in the contest.

"It's inspiring to see the kind of enthusiasm we've seen from the college communities," said Climate Culture CEO Tom Scaramellino. "Our nation's youth has the potential to make a significant impact on climate change through individual sustainable choices, and this contest was set up to help facilitate that."

The current leading schools are University of Maryland - College Park and George Mason University, both with over 1,500 participants. "We've seen a great response so far and are hoping to keep building it during the summer," said Lauren O'Meally, member of the Stern Campus Greening Initiative and America's Greenest Campus organizer for New York University, currently in sixth place. "Students don't stop living sustainably just because we're not on campus, and all of our reductions will still count towards the contest."

The contest officially runs until October 5, 2009, and winners will be announced October 12, 2009. America's Greenest Campus can be accessed through Facebook with the Climate Culture Facebook Application, available to all Facebook members at: http://apps.facebook.com/climate_culture .

*Based on number of students participating.

About SmartPower
SmartPower is a national, nonprofit marketing organization committed to promoting clean energy and energy efficiency. SmartPower's mission is to build the clean energy marketplace by helping the American public become smarter about their energy use. SmartPower's community-based marketing approaches, along with innovative new media strategies and award-winning creative have contributed to unprecedented growth in wind, and solar power. Today, SmartPower has become known as the nationwide "Got Milk" organization on clean energy. For more, visit http://www.smartpower.org , http://www.letsgetenergysmart.com .

About Climate Culture
Climate Culture is the first interactive and entertaining utility for reducing your impact on climate change. For the first time, you can receive accurate and personalized advice on the amount of money, carbon and other resources you expend and save from hundreds of lifestyle and purchasing decisions. Climate Culture licenses its Personal Energy Advisor software to electric and gas utilities, companies, universities and other organizations seeking to better engage stakeholders on energy use and climate change. For more, visit http://www.climateculture.com.]

Media Contact for SmartPower
Larry Kopp, The TASC Group
646.723.4344
larry(at)thetascgroup(dot)com

Media Contact for Climate Culture
Amy Neal or Miko Mercer
LaunchSquad
415.625.8555
efficiency(at)launchsquad(dot)com

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