A new sustainability initiative at DePauw University has been selected as a 2011 winner of the Ball Brothers Foundation Venture Fund competitive grant program.
The $15,000 award will be used at DePauw to institute a first-of-its-kind program at an Indiana college.
The program will place two student "Eco Reps" in each first-year residence hall to connect individual behaviors to environmental stewardship, promote environmentally-sound living, and act as liaisons to the greater DePauw and Greencastle communities.
DePauw is one of five Indiana independent colleges selected as recipients of the 2011 grants, which provide seed funding for start-up initiatives to stimulate creativity and innovation and foster competition and collaboration among the state's 31 independent campuses.
Established by the Ball Brothers Foundation (Muncie) and administered by Independent Colleges of Indiana, the Ball Brothers Foundation Venture Fund has disbursed more than $850,000 for 39 innovative initiatives on ICI campuses over the past 13 years.
The 2011 recipients were chosen by a panel of judges from a field of 26 proposals submitted by 15 ICI colleges and universities.
Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI) is a nonprofit association that represents the state's 31 private colleges and universities. ICI member institutions enroll more than 87,000 students (approximately 20 percent of all students statewide) and annually produce 35 percent of all bachelor's degrees in Indiana.
DePauw led the way in two categories in the nation's first real-time, nationwide electricity and water-use reduction competition. Forty participating colleges and universities reduced electricity consumption by 508,694 kilowatt hours, saving $50,209 and averting 816,394 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the period Nov. 1-19.
With a 25.8 percent reduction in electricity use, DePauw was the top campus reducer, and was also the campus with the greatest total reduction across all participating residence halls (per person).
Humboldt State University was the top school in reducing water use.
DePauw's residence halls posted energy-saving "battle tactics" on each floor to give students energy conservation tips. Some students assumed the title of "conservation vigilantes" and took the lead to ensure fellow residents remained focused on energy savings.