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Lights out: Ozone House wins "Do it in the Dark"


The winning house
The winning house

It stands to reason that if you hold an annual energy awareness campaign and competition involving 25 student residences, the folks living in Ozone House might shine.

Yet since the first “Do it in the Dark” contest in 2007, Ozone House failed to finish first.

Students living there this year were determined to break the losing streak.

"We banned the use of the clothes dryer, unscrewed unnecessary light bulbs, unplugged everything that was not in use and only turned on lights when absolutely necessary," said Kyle Lanzit '13. "And keeping the house at a balmy 65 degrees is standard practice."

Their efforts paid off. Ozone House claimed the top prize in the six-week contest to see which residence could reduce its energy consumption. Since the competition began last month, the 12 members of the house at 1294 Lenox Road reduced energy consumption by 30.86 percent. Dickens (315 Seward Place), with a 29.94 percent reduction and Golub House, with a 16.67 percent reduction, finished second and third, respectively.

The winning house receives a plaque and two prizes that will be raffled off among residents at the first U-Sustain meeting of Spring Term at 12:50 p.m. April 10 in Old Chapel.

Winners also will be treated to a dinner at Breazzano House catered by a restaurant selected by Ozone residents, who can share their energy conservation methods with students in other living spaces, including Greek, Minerva and theme houses, residence halls and apartments.

"It's fitting that Ozone House finally won," said Sustainability Coordinator Meghan Haley-Quigley ’11, who worked closely with Fred Puliafico, assistant director of Utilities Management, Ngozi Onyiuke ’13 and Annie Nelson ’15 in overseeing the competition. "They were frustrated they had never won and worked hard to pull it off."

And though the contest is over, Haley-Quigley hopes the message gets recycled.

"The competition is a great reminder to all of us to make adjustments to our everyday life with hope that once the competition ends, the behavior will carry forward," she said.

To stay updated on sustainability matters at Union, go to: www.garnetgoesgreen.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/GarnetGoesGreen or www.twitter.com/GarnetGoesGreen.