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In a final dash for the Green Cup, Quincy House began raising money Sunday night to power the House with wind-generated electricity for one week beginning with Earth Day this Thursday.
Switching Quincy to wind power for one week will mean that the House will emit about 25 tons less carbon dioxide—the equivalent of two Goodyear blimps—said resident tutor David M. Thompson, who is spearheading the initiative and set up a table in the House lobby to collect money to fund the switch.
Thompson said that the main impact of switching to wind power for a week will be on raising environmental consciousness around the University, rather than on its direct ecological impact.
“We’d also like to imbue future leaders with environmental awareness,” said former Quincy House Resource Efficiency Program (REP) representative Esther Y. Tian ’05.
The creators of the Quincy House Wind Project also hope to clear up confusion surrounding the use of renewable energy sources. Quincy students are being asked to contribute money to buy enough Tradeable Renewable Certificates (TRCs) so that the House uses only renewable energy for a week.
“I think most people will be confused because most people haven't bought energy credits before,” Thompson said. “I’m hoping people bother me and ask me questions.”
Thompson said that if Harvard chose to purchase TRCs as a University, it could have an impact on pollution, and, by buying in bulk, could lower the cost that each individual House would pay to purchase TRCs.
It will cost Quincy $399 more to power the House through renewable energy than through traditional coal-generated electricity for the week. The Undergraduate Council awarded the initiative a $133 grant, and the Quincy House Masters have agreed to match the funds raised by the students.
“We need to raise $133, which is the equivalent of 28 cents per Quincy House resident,” Thompson said yesterday.
As of last night, the collection jar was at $132.20, just 80 cents short of its goal, Thompson said.
Residents said they thought the House has developed something of a reputation for environmental responsibility after winning the Green Cup last year.
“This is the House of environmentalism and Brian Matthay is its leader,” said Quincy resident David M. Lippin ’04, who said he was struck by the environmentally-friendly character of Quincy House after transferring from the Quad.
Lippin was referring to Brian A. Matthay ’04, the REP representative for Quincy.
Matthay called the Wind Project a “super-ambitious project” last night. “The best one I’ve heard of so far,” he added.
Quincy’s plan to use renewable energy resources—at least temporarily—comes in the same year that the Green Cup competition has changed its method for evaluating the Houses’ level of environmental consciousness.
In addition to monitoring waste and energy consumption, this year’s competition will take into account creative initiatives undertaken by the Houses.
—Staff writer Joshua P. Rogers can be reached at email@example.com.
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