Annual Drew it in the Dark begins

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by Anna Gombert

Drew it in the Dark kicked off this past Monday, and the Drew Eco Reps held a program on Wednesday to raise awareness and spread information about energy usage in a fun way. Drew it in the Dark is a two week competition, occurring once in October and once in February, between the residence halls to see which hall can reduce their energy consumption by the greatest amount.  The current competition runs from Feb. 6 through Feb. 19. Tina Notas, the campus sustainability coordinator, explained this year’s focus, “It’s the theme ‘Love the Forest’ so it happens around Valentines Day, because we are trying to encourage people to love the forest by reducing their energy and having a better environmental impact.” Students can check the live competition rankings and amount of energy reduction on the new Drew University Energy Storyboard, under the competitions tab. The storyboard, which also launched this week, can be accessed through Treehouse by clicking on the light bulb icon labeled Energy Usage in the upper right-hand corner of the page. The most recent rankings, as of Friday morning, have McLendon in the lead by a far margin.

The Eco Rep program, which runs through the Office of Sustainability, has been running for eight years. There are one or two Eco Reps for each building or complex of buildings. “The Eco Reps are the liaison between the Office of Sustainability and the residence halls. So the Eco Reps are the go-to person for all things, any questions you have on sustainability,” Notas explained. Wednesday’s event was organized by two reps, Tessa Godbout (’20) and Emily Bogartz-Brown (’20), who are the reps for the freshman dorms. The event consisted of a presentation of facts and statistics about energy consumption and water usage, as well as several stations of activities students could participate in in order to win a t-shirt. When asked about what the Eco Rep program adds to Drew, Godbout stated, “I think it tells the school that people care, whether it be about the environment or about each other, people are there and they are caring about things and they’re pushing for what they believe in. And I think that’s really important to show, especially in a non-angry way.” Brown added, “We have advocacy for the planet, the planet being something that doesn’t have a voice, and we are that voice.”

Besides planning programs, Eco Reps have other responsibilities around campus. “We wear our shirts around all the time. We try to promote other clubs and events and things that are sustainable. I know at least for me, me and my RA’s kind of have a deal to kind of really really push for it. And I try to do it throughout the building, but it’s easy to start small,” Godbout elaborated about her contributions.

Drew was also number one in New Jersey in last year’s Recycle Mania competition, a nationwide competition to see which school can divert the most waste from landfills. Recycle Mania runs for eight weeks and started at the beginning of February and will run till the end of March. When asked how we can improve our chances of coming in first again this year, Brown suggested, “Just be more cognizant of the carbon footprint that we all make.”

There will be another Eco Rep event this upcoming Wednesday, Feb. 15, where students can make valentines day cards out of recycled material and flower vases out of used glass bottles among other things. The event will start at 7p.m. in the Space.

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