ECO Challenge receives positive campus support

By SGA Beat Writer Jessica Livingston

Two hundred and three participants took part in the Engineering Change Order Challenge. UNA finished 31 out of 639 teams in this two-week challenge, which included 83 countries.

The top 100 team participants won a t-shirt, which is available for pick up in the Science and Engineering Tech Building in room 433.

Senior Jennifer Avery said the ECO Challenge started by providing a list of challenges to choose from.

“Some challenges were daily, and some just had to be met once,” Avery said. “There were many different categories, that varies with difficulties.”

UNA earned around 12 thousand total points in the challenge.

There were tasks like turning off the water while brushing teeth and turning lights off in the house while not in use, Avery said.

“The challenge was a great way to start thinking about the effects of my activities on the environment and connect with a group who wanted to do the same thing,” Avery said. “Teammates would log in everyday to document which challenges they completed for that day.”

To earn points in the challenge participants had to complete tasks such as minutes of additional sleep, gallons of water saved, whole food meals, more servings of fruit and vegetables, plastic bottles not sent to the landfill, miles travelled by foot, pounds of paper saved, miles traveled by bike and phone calls made to public officials.

Senior Chandon Hines said this two-week challenge was established to raise awareness of tasks that could be hindering to the environment and our overall health, and change these tasks into positive and stress reducing behaviors.

“My first week, I chose to focus on water conservation,” Hines said. “The three tips that I chose were shorter showers, using reusable water containers instead of the waste that plastic bottles cause, and since I am guilty of leaving the water running on occasion while brushing my teeth, I committed to turn it off.”

In addition to these tasks, the team collectively saved 131,909 pounds of CO2, travelled 9,262 miles by carpool, consumed 5,435 organic meals and sent 416 letters and emails to public officials.

“Team members were able to log into their ECO account and check off actions that were completed well that week,” Hines said.

Director of UNA Center for Sustainability Amanda Coffman said they would like to thank the UNA Environmental Services Staff for assisting the ECO Challenge Team in meeting their individual challenge goals by performing their daily tasks.