Today marks the halfway point in EcoChallenge 2016! With one week left, over 430 teams and nearly 8,000 participants will continue to taking action and making a difference for themselves, their communities, and the planet. We’re excited to share some of the inspiring stories emerging as we turn the corner into our final week. And, to take a real-time look at our collective impact so far, click here.
Here are some of the top teams and stories so far in EcoChallenge 2016:
Willamette University is just behind our current university front-runner, Mount Hood Community College. With 100 team members, Willamette has saved over 2,100 gallons of water and over 160 pounds of CO2, travelled 67 miles by bus and 45 miles by bike, and diverted over 170 plastic water bottles from the landfill! They are also going head-to-head in a friendly EcoChallenge competition with Portland Community College EcoPanthers. “The EcoChallenge engages individuals to commit to personal behavior changes they stick with for two weeks, and quantifies benefits and impacts across our team for our community and the planet,” said Director of the Willamette University Sustainability Institute, Joe Abraham. “The goal is for participants to keep going and for the challenges they choose to lead to permanent personal behavior changes.” Just last week they published an article entitled Stop Waiting on the World to Change where Eric Lassahn in the Office of Community Service Learning shared that “Making a difference begins at the individual level, often with small changes that can collectively lead to large-scale transformation. Together, we can turn this very large ship around with myriad small course corrections.”
Delran Middle School in Delran, New Jersey is currently in 10th place overall and has 239 team members! So far the DMS Green Team has had a huge impact, with over 6,000 gallons of water saved. They’ve spend 1,600 additional minutes away from screens – instead spending over 4,700 minutes outdoors connecting with nature. One student posted to her EcoChallenge feed that she is “Working my hardest! The EcoChallenge helps us do everything we never thought of doing. My challenge is coming in handy by letting me help my enviroment.” Congrats to this inspiring Middle School team for making a huge difference and paving the way for a next generation of change agents!
On the business front, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Green Team is leading the pack, with 260 members! AMD EcoChallenger Poorna Chandra is “feeling great to see that I am actually saving 19 pounds of Co2 per day!” The team has travelled over 1,400 additional miles by carpool and 526 miles by bike so far – saving over 3,500 pounds of CO2. They’ve volunteered 14 hours of their time in the community and have enjoyed 35 zero-waste meals (not to mention saving almost 7,000 gallons of water!). CLEAResult is just behind AMD, with 168 team members and going strong. CLEAResult EcoChallenger Kevin Zacharyasz posted that the EcoChallenge “shows what kind of impact we can make,” and Tara Colaruotolo wrote that “it really has opened my eyes to how simple changes can make a big impact.” Yes!
Amongst the cities and counties participating, the Multnomah County Community Team and its competitor team Multco Moves have 170 EcoChallengers collectively! Multnomah County Community team member Vanesa Mujcic shared that she is “very excited to join this year’s EcoChallenge and help the community by volunteering with my fellow co-workers! Neighborhood clean-up and SnowCap Food Bank are our projects to date!” So far they’ve volunteered 12 additional hours of their time in the community, traveled 86 extra miles by bike and saved over 60 pounds of CO2, and 450 gallons of water. We’ll leave you with an inspiring video created by the Multnomah County Community Team. Enjoy! And good luck to all as we head into our final week of EcoChallenge 2016!