- January 9, 2023–January 27, 2023
Kill-a-watt is a residence hall-wide sustainability competition and education program during the month of January. This initiative of Calvin University seeks to be a fulfillment of its vision to be "caretakers of creation and agents of renewal for creation in our daily lives and as a collective community."
2023 Winner: Boer-Bennink
It was a close year! See below for some details and highlights.
This year was a tight contest, and until the last second it looked like KHvR had the win. KHvR came in strong in lifestyle challenges and event attendance, with BB and SE coming in at a close second and third. A special shout-out to Esther, Micah, Peter, Esther, Sebastian, and Brandon for some ambitious goals. Boer Bennink started to pull ahead when their good habits around power use let them cut their electricity comsumption substantially (but not as much as BHT! Nice job, BHT).
A good showing by everyone though—we were impressed across the board. SE’s enthusiasm for the challenges, BHT’s stellar power saving, KHvR’s great event attendance, and NVW’s all-around solid performance were great to see. And even if BV has some, shall we say, "room to improve," everyone made a great effort.
See what happened in this year's Kill-A-Watt
Try some small changes in how you live for the month of January. It’s a great way to build sustainable habits—and if you don’t like it the things you choose, you can always stop at the end of the month!
You can select any number of challenges. Do enough, and you can win a prize in your dorm lobby—and points that count towards your dorm’s victory!
(Note: survey opens Mon. Jan. 9 and must be completed by the end of of Mon, January 16)
Make an effort to save power by turning off lights, unplugging extra devices, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator (looking at you, KHvR and BHT!)
Saving electricity is a great way to cut down on your environmental impact—and in general, there's no reason to have devices on when you’re not using them anyway! On top of that, we’ll be monitoring the meters to see which dorm cuts their power usage the most over the month.
Attend Kill-a-Watt events
There are a bunch of awesome Kill-A-Watt events (see below) led by the Sustainability Coordinators. Ranging from workshops to lectures, they’re a great way to learn a little more about what you can do.
Each event you attend is a good way to get involved and win some points for your dorm.
Creation Care Bible study & dorm worship
During Kill-A-Watt, the floor Barnabi are leading Bible studies on sustainability and our calling to be caretakers of creation as mandated in the Bible.
Get to know your fellow residents and God better. Talk to your dorm Barnabas for details on when and where this will happen.
Chapel: Sustainability and Faith
Tue Jan 10, 10:30 a.m. | Chapel
Our omnipresent God rules over both us and the universe we live in. Join us for chapel as we talk about the Christian aspects of sustainability by celebrating creation, mourning the fall’s impact on the world, and looking forward to the day when God will restore the world.
Wed Jan 11, 7:00 p.m. | VN-235 (behind Van Noord gym)
Join the SCs for a movie night about sustainability and what it means to us. We're showing Just Eat It, a film highlighting the problems with food waste.
Thu Jan 12, 5:00 p.m. | SB-276
One of the simplest ways to live more sustainably is eating more environmentally friendly food. Whether that means shopping local or cutting down on meat consumption, it’s easy to make some small changes to how you eat that have a big impact on the environment. Come learn how to cook some easy sustainable meals that will come in handy in the dorms or when you’re on your own.
It’ll help us if we know you’re coming! Sign up here for the workshop
Tue Jan 17, 4:00 p.m. | NH 078 (Geology Department Lecture Hall)
Composting isn’t always easy while living on a college campus, but it’s an important way to cut down on food waste and produce a valuable material: soil. Come to hear from a representative of Organicycle, a local company that does large-scale composting, talk about how the process works and what you can do.
Thu Jan 19, 6:00 p.m. | Fieldhouse Lobby (Bottom Floor)
Commuting and travelling by bike is a great way to cut down on both pollution and the money you spend on gas—and it keeps you in great shape! Join the SCs and some Calvin biking experts to hear about basic bike repair.
Mon Jan 23, 7:00 p.m. | CA 214
Clothes with holes aren’t a great idea during Michigan winters, but there’s no reason to replace something entirely when it’s easily fixable. Show up to get some sewing and mending basics that will let you keep using a favorite piece of clothing and add a personal touch to it.
Panel: Sustainability and Justice
Wed Jan 25, 4:00 p.m. | Meeter Center Lecture Hall
Impoverished and underprivileged people often suffer the most from climate change and pollution even though they contribute to it the least. The intersection between climate and justice is an important one that helps explain our obligatation as Christians to live sustainability. Failing to do so doesn’t just hurt the world: it hurts the people Jesus told us to care for the most. This panel features professors and local organizations and addresses some questions around sustainability and justice.
Thu Jan 26, 7:00 p.m. | Hoogenboom 280
Join the Adventure Club for a showing of short films. The theme is finding what excites you about outdoor recreation and the chance to get to know creation more.
Why do we care for creation?
- Creation is good. Genesis tells us that when God created the world He didn’t make it instantly, with the snap of a finger or a single word, but that He crafted it bit by bit, declaring it “good” at every stage of its development.
- It’s our responsibility to be good stewards. The first commission God gave Adam was to tend the garden and take care of it. (Gen 2:15) The Bible has many verses commanding good stewardship of resources (time, money, talents, land, etc.).
- The climate change affects people directly. Increasingly severe storms, wildfires, and droughts result in the death of people made in God’s image. Climate change impacts the poor in especially severe ways. God has called us to care for people impoverished and weak just as he cares for us (Matt. 25:40).
- To be a part of God’s restoring of all things. Rev. 21:5 says, “Behold I am making all things new.” Notice, it doesn’t say “I am making all new things.” This creation is destined for restoration and we are called to be part of that process because of Jesus’ sacrifice. Christ died to reconcile all of creation to God (Col. 1:20)
- To avoid gluttony & selfishness. The U.S. has among the highest carbon emissions per person in the world. Per person, our emissions are around twice those of Germany and China and over 20 times as much as some African nations. Our lifestyles are contributing to this problem. Excessive preoccupation with material goods despite the Bible’s many warnings against greed hinders our walk with God.