It’s getting to be that time of year again – as the autumn leaves begin to fall, so will Skidmore’s electricity consumption. Every year, Sustainable Skidmore coordinates Skidmore Unplugged, a three-week-long energy conservation extravaganza pairing a competition between residence halls with energy-conscious events and supporting sustainability inside the dorms and out. 2014’s Skidmore Unplugged will be from October 29th to November 19th. As usual, the hall with the highest percentage of electricity reduction will take home the win (basing the competition on percent reduction, rather than on the amount of electricity saved, allows bigger halls to compete with smaller ones). This year, however, the Skidmore Unplugged competition is not just between dorms. Skidmore as a whole will be competing against the rest of the New York 6 schools: Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith College, St. Lawrence University, and Union College. This change will help to create a sense that dorms will be working together, not against each other, and also reminds us that by reducing our consumption, we’re making an impact at the state level.
Sustainable Skidmore frequently collaborates with other campus organizations to bring students various multidimensional events during Skidmore Unplugged. This year, Skidmore Unplugged will be collaborating with Social Justice Month to create the Unplug for Social Justice theme week. Unplug for Social Justice will help to raise the greater Skidmore community’s awareness of the injustices and disproportionate impacts that energy usage has on communities of color, low-income communities, or other under-represented communities. As a college, we can lessen our negative impact on both the environment and others by choosing to change our everyday habits; Unplug for Social Justice aims to help guide Skidmore community members to make informed decisions about their energy consumption.
As per tradition, Sustainable Skidmore will once again be joining forces with Lively Lucy’s to offer an unplugged acoustic show. Other events include a spooky Halloween-themed walk through the North Woods, a film screening and dialogue highlighting the environmental and social consequences of fracking, performance in the dark by campus sketch comedy group Adlibs, and a community fair providing the campus with information about Skidmore Unplugged, and other local organizations. Of course, Skidmore Unplugged is more than just friendly competition and fun events – Skidmore Unplugged helps to raise student awareness about energy consumption and to instill values and energy-saving habits that students can take with them into their own lives after Skidmore. So turn off the lights, disconnect your minifridge, and peel away from that computer … get out there and get unplugged!