Mason in Race for ‘America’s Greenest Campus’ Title

Posted: February 12, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

On Earth Day this year, Mason has an opportunity to add a new accolade to its long list of awards.

Climate Culture, an upstart social network built around a sophisticated footprint calendar, has launched a college greening initiative with cash prizes.

Students, faculty and staff members, and alumni can sign up to look at their carbon footprint, make pledges to reduce it and learn tips on going green.

On April 22, the college with the most sign-ups and the college with the most carbon reductions per participant can win up to $10,000 for their campus environmental groups.

Mason is currently in second place on the leader board with 256 members, nudged out of first place recently by the University of Maryland—College Park.

“Our goal is to get 3,000 people from Mason registered,” says Colin Bennett, Mason’s sustainability assistant. “We would love to have a significant presence in this contest and show how serious Mason is about becoming climate neutral.”

Climate Culture is intended to complement other popular social networking sites such as Facebook — with profiles for users and the ability to communicate and interact with a larger network.

The site includes environmental tips and games, as well as a sophisticated pledge system in which participants can commit to behavioral changes such as using less electricity, buying more energy-efficient appliances and shutting off the water when brushing teeth.

Prizes include $5,000 for the school with the most participants and $5,000 for the school with the most carbon reductions per participant.

Students can also compete in a SmartPower Energy Smart Ad Challenge by creating a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) promoting how young adults can save money by being “energy smart” through energy efficiency and conservation. The winner will receive $10,000.

Any individual with a “” e-mail address can participate in the contest to help Mason win. For more information, visit

Write to at