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Kalamazoo College

Konserve Kzoo 2013

Konserve Kzoo


The focus behind Konserve Kzoo is to encourage residents to take responsibility for their contribution to campus energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions on a community level. While it would be great to recognize students for their individual actions, the capability is not yet available. However, recognizing a community of students for their energy reduction behaviors is the next best thing.

Similar models and ideas at various schools have shown that on-campus housing energy competitions help reduce energy consumption on both short and long-term scales, as these behaviors can become “natural”. The potential to expand this type of energy competition to a more balanced environmental contest can also be seen at other universities as well. With the emerging possibility of a real-time energy consumption monitoring system and other advances, Konserve Kzoo could become a regular event used to educate all members of the campus community, save the College money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


During Winter Quarter, the college's environmental organization (Envorg) hosted a competition to see which residence hall could reduce their water and electricity usage the most. Envorg promoted the competition by posting flyers made with scrap paper and old magazines, a facebook page, and by dorm storming. Students were encourage to save water and electricity by turning off lights, unplugging unused appliances, and taking shorter showers. The Facilities Management Department helped with the competition by collecting and analyzing data, tallying scores, and providing a prize to the winning dorm.


Each week points were awarded to dorms based on gallons of water used per capita and on the percentage of electricity saved in comparison to past winters. There are six dorms so the dorm that used the least amount of water was awarded six points in the water category, the dorm that used the second least amount of water was awarded five points, and so on. The same system was used in the electricity category so that the dorm that saved the highest percentage of electricity was awarded six points.


After 9 weeks of Competition Crissey maintained its early lead and is this year's grand champion. Dual flush toilets have been installed in the dorm this March for their victory.

Week Crissey Severn Trowbridge Hoben Harmon Dewaters
Total 78      48      22    72        61     31  



Read more about Konserve Kzoo on Envorg's Facebook Page.