Campus challenged to use less energy, recycle more

Though we haven’t yet shaken the chill of winter, competitions are heating up at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

February and March mark a series of inter- and intracampus challenges to improve the environmental awareness and sustainability of college campuses nationwide.

RecycleMania and Campus Conservation Nationals use friendly competition and school spirit to rally participants to reduce their impact on the environment by reducing waste and energy use.

Students for Energy Efficient Living (SEEL) is also running an off-campus energy competition, Kill-the-Watts, for which apartment or house can reduce their utility bill the most from February to March.

For RecycleMania, the weights of the total trash and recycling generated by the university are tallied every week through Mar. 27. Schools can be ranked in various categories including waste diversion rate, total reduction, and amounts of waste or recycling generated per person.

Volunteer sign-ups are available to work as a RecycleMania Street Team member. These volunteers work to increase awareness of where, why, and how to recycle on campus and to remove recyclables from outdoor trash bins across campus.

Campus Conservation Nationals measures the energy use of residence halls from Feb. 24 through Mar. 14. Students are challenged to help their hall achieve the biggest reductions.

Sign-up for the SEEL competition ( runs until Mar. 3 and there is a cash prize for the winning residence.