University of Northern Iowa students who live in one of the nine residence halls on campus are taking part in a competition to save energy. Nine students who are involved in the U.N.I. Honors Program organized the week-long competition called U.N.I. Unplugged. Jessica Moon is director of the U.N.I. Honors Program.

“Very small changes can add up in a facility as large as a residence hall on a university campus,” Moon said. “So, part of what the (Honors students) wanted to do with this competition was express to their fellow students – these are the things we can do…we can change our behaviors in very small ways and collectively that can make a big impact.” Students are being encouraged to turn off lights and unplug cell charges and T-Vs when they aren’t in use.

Moon says 15% of the energy used by cell phones and televisions is expended when the devices aren’t even turned on. “Unplugging that television when it’s not in use would greatly reduce energy consumption,” Moon said. The amount energy saved by each residence hall will be calculated with help from the U.N.I. Department of Residence.

Moon says the energy saved during the competition week will be compared to a “control week” in February. Students from the residence hall that conserves the most energy percentage-wise will be eligible for prizes from a host of local businesses. The contest was launched last week and will end this Thursday – which is recognized as Earth Day.

See more about the project here: