By: Jamison Czarneki, UC Santa Cruz Carbon Neutrality Initiative Fellow
October 6th, 2015 marked the beginning of the first ever UC wide Cool Campus Challenge. C3, as it is being called now, is a 10 week UC inter campus competition that encourages students, staff, and faculty to lower their carbon footprint. This challenge is designed to get people talking about UCOP’s Carbon Neutrality Goal by 2025 where we hope to be the first US university system to do so! Some people say this competition distracts us from the real issues around neutrality, but I believe this has allowed for the opposite. Instead of distracting us, it is enthralling us to talk about carbon neutrality. It’s getting people excited about this initiative and allows a space to take a tiny step to help the campus work to achieve this goal. If people really took the time to look into the actions they can pledge, they would learn so much about their carbon impact! Ever heard of vampire loads? They suck the energy (and money) right out from you. There are a ton of ways you can learn to lower your footprint as you pledge actions. By doing so, there are even prizes to win for everyone who participates!
So how does the competition work? Participants sign up and make a quick account on the Cool Campus Challenge website. After signing up, there are a list of actions to pledge and a space for non-listed actions (for the more creative minded person). Every action you pledge, you verify with a picture or story to get points, and those points add up for you and the campus! The more points you earn, the more chances you have to win prizes such as solar chargers, Itunes gift cards, or a brand new Momemtum Bicycle! The competition goes until December 10th and UCSC needs your help! Currently, we’re in 4th place. Every point that you earn shows the UC Regents that we care about Carbon Neutrality and we’re excited for it. So log in, pledge actions, and let’s own this competition!