Auburn University Office of Sustainability launching month-long Sustain-A-Bowl campaign

On Friday, Jan. 30, Auburn University’s Office of Sustainability will launch Sustain-A-Bowl, a month-long campaign to reduce water and electricity use and waste production around campus and in the community.

Each residence hall in the Hill and Quad will compete to be the building that reduces its resource use the most over the course of the month compared to its own three-year average.

Throughout the month of February, the Sustain-A-Bowl Committee, a group of student interns working in the Office of Sustainability, will take weekly water, electricity and waste readings for each of the 22 halls in the Hill and Quad and announce a weekly winner. At the end of the month, the hall that has reduced its water, electricity and waste the most will be declared the overall winner.

Those living off campus can compete too. For instructions on how to play, go to the Sustain-A-Bowl Web site at and link to “Play at Home.”

The Sustain-A-Bowl Committee will provide tips on the Web site on how to painlessly reduce your electricity, water and waste whether you live in a residence hall, apartment or house.

On average over the last three years, in the month of February alone, all the residence halls on campus combined used over five and a half million gallons of water – enough to fill the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga five times. In that same month, all of the residence halls on campus used more than 700,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. That many kWh would have cost an Auburn homeowner more than $86,000 and could light up the Eiffel Tower from January 2009 until April 2010 – or 454 consecutive nights. Water and electricity use on campus is tracked by the Facilities Division.

For academic year 2008-09, Auburn University has allocated $20.7 million dollars for utilities, more than any other single item in the budget.

If you want to know more about this campaign and competition, or to get tips on how to cut down your use of water, electricity and waste, go to the Sustain-A-Bowl website at or email

(Contributed by Emma Mulvaney.)

Contact: Lindy Biggs, (334) 844-6645 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (