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Pittsburg State goes green for its Green Gorillas Challenge - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg State goes green for its Green Gorillas Challenge

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Pittsburg State University announced the winner of a seven week challenge for sustainability on campus on Monday.

The Green Gorillas Challenge pitted five campus buildings against each other to save the most on their electric bills.

Each building formed it's own team and implemented it's own skills, but Kelce Business Center won the competition by saving 20% on their electric bills.

Overall the five buildings saved a total of 13%.

The Green Gorilla Challenge is not the only way PSU is striving to stay green.

From keeping lights off in low traffic areas to interactive stations to help monitor energy usage in campus buildings, PSU is working hard to cut energy costs where it can.

"The best way to affect electricity is to find that low hanging fruit, which is lighting, computers and electronics and heating and air systems," says PSU's Energy Manager Michael Breneman.

Breneman says over the past few years PSU has seen a push toward maintaining thermostats, swapping light bulbs for more energy efficient ones and teaching students why it's important to go green.

"Karma, it's just the right thing to do to save energy and it's fiscally responsible because by saving energy you also save money," says Breneman.

According to the Sustainability Committee, it's the little things that really add up to make a huge difference.  For example, this year alone the school was able to save just under $500,000 using similar tricks.

"We've got a campus of thousands of people here," says PSU Sustainability Committee Co-Chair Job Bartlow.  "If everybody make a little bit of effort, the cumulative affect you know, can be really, really huge."

And small as they may be, PSU freshman Ariel Everett says they are definitely noticing a greener, more sustainable influence on campus.

"There are lots of new bins on campus, that have recycling in them and then there are the places in the buildings and there are a lot more students getting involved with it," says Everett.

PSU says they will continue to work on campus energy conservation measures, saying they aim to eventually be carbon neutral sometime in the future.

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