Earth Hour Countdown: Second annual Res Race to Zero starts today

The second annual Res Race to Zero, a collaboration between students and York to reduce the University’s carbon footprint by adopting best practices and lowering personal energy consumption, starts today and runs until March 28, the day after Earth Hour.

This year’s competition will involve eight Keele undergraduate residence buildings and, for the first time, two Glendon residence buildings. In addition, graduate residence buildings are also encouraged to be mindful of their energy consumption.

Right: Residence environmental ambassadors, from bottom clockwise, Katie Sagmeister, Adellah Chimbindi, Farrahnaz Bulsara, Madeline Neff, Jason Vuu and James Marzotto are ready to compete in the Res Race to Zero competition

Nine residence enviornmental ambassadors (REA) will work with fellow students to help make the Res Race to Zero a success by further reducing energy consumption.

"As a REA, it’s my job to create environmental awareness and spread information about consuming less energy. We hold events for residents to get into an eco-friendly mindset, so they’ll hopefully take this information and transfer it into their homes and wider arenas,” says Farrahnaz Bulsara, REA of Pond Road Residence. “We work to create a competitive buzz for Res Race so residents have an incentive to consciously participate in a lifestyle change that will help the planet. This year the goal is to engage all residents with a sense of environmental spirit…and it’s going to be epic."

This year’s residence ambassadors are Madeline Neff (Winters), Katie Sagmeister (Glendon), Adellah Chimbindi (Stong), James Marzotto (Tatham Hall), Jason Vuu (Founders) and Farrahnaz Bulsara (Pond), as well as Lani Etzkorn (Bethune), Ives Spritzer (Calumet) and Yulia Lobacheva (Vanier), who are not in the above photo.

"Res Race to Zero is significant because it is an opportunity to come together on an important objective that is clearly vital to students and the administration, and this is the question of what could we, and should we, be doing to lessen our impact on the environment, and in this case, by minimizing our energy consumption,” says Helen Psathas, senior manager in Environmental Design & Sustainability. “Nowhere is this more important than in the power held collectively by the approximately 5,000 students that live here, that every day, and maybe several times a day, choose to turn off the lights and unplug their computers and equipment."

The measurement of energy consumption for each residence building will include average kilowatt usage per person by residence as compared with last year’s Res Race to Zero student competitors.

The winner of the Res Race to Zero title will receive $2,000 to be used toward sustainability at York.

Res Race to Zero complements York’s Energy Management Program, a five-year plan to reduce energy consumption by 25 per cent. For more information and to view the weekly progress, visit Yorkwise, the event sponsor, or the Res Race to Zero Web site.