Let the Ecolympics begin.
p. West Virginia Universitys first resource conservation competition among residence halls gets under way today as part of WVU s WE CAN campaign launch.

WE CAN , or WVU Environmental Conservation Awareness Now, is a University-wide effort to get students and employees to incorporate recycling and energy-saving practices into their daily routines.

We are seeking to have our students embrace the concepts of conservation and recycling,said Barbara Angeletti, WVU s recycling coordinator.In my mind, if we get students switching off lights, turning off computers and turning off printers for a month, then weve got them. Theyre on the �€~Green Team.

The four-week competition runs through Oct. 26. Each residence hall will be considered a team with the exception of the Evansdale Residential Complex, which will be divided into two teams: Bennett/Lyon towers and Brooke/Braxton towers.

Every week, bags of recyclable materials will be collected and weighed from each residence hall. Empty aluminum cans and plastic bottles will be collected as well as paper materials like magazines and newspapers. The top three teams will be awarded points as follows: three points for the team that recycles the most, two points for second place and one point for third place.

As for energy usage, the team with the highest percent reduction during those four weeks will receive points: first place, 10 points; second place, nine points; third place, eight points; and so on (see complete rules athttp://wecan.wvu.edu/ecolympics).

Along with recycling and energy conservation, teams will have the opportunity to earn points by participating in a trivia quiz and campuswide scavenger hunt. Five points will be awarded to the team with the most correct trivia quiz entries, and another five will be given to the team who finds the WE CAN logo hidden on campus.

Angeletti and Lisa Saurborn of Facilities Management will be judging the competition. Prizes are still being worked out, Angeletti said, but indicated that students in the winning residence hall may get to vote on the prize.

The success of the contest and ongoing conservation efforts on campus is dependent on student support, Saurborn said.

Recycling takes little effort, and the benefits for the environment are long term,Saurborn said.By focusing on making this fun and educational, and turning it into something competitive, we hope that students will take away lifelong practices for recycling and conservation.

For more information, contact Angeletti at 304-293-2330 or barbara.angeletti@mail.wvu.edu . Additional information is available athttp://wecan.wvu.edu.