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The Cortaca Jug isn’t the only competition between SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College this fall. Anyone from the campus community can enter in the Cortaca Climate Challenge, a competition between the two colleges measuring the carbon footprint each has on the environment.

Presented by the Student Affairs Sustainability Committee at SUNY Cortland, the contest will run until the day of the Cortaca Jug football game on Saturday, Nov. 13. Students, faculty and staff can sign up on the Climate Culture website.

The college community that reduces its carbon footprint by the highest percentage will win a tree to be planted on campus. Additionally, all participants from SUNY Cortland will be eligible to receive individual and group prizes, such as an iPOD touch.

“We encourage clubs, sports teams, offices and residence halls to enter in their own SUNY Cortland group,” said Jeremy Zhe-Heimerman of Student Disability Services. “They’ll compete against each other to win prizes as well as help in the competition against Ithaca.”

Once an account is created on the Climate Culture website, participants will be asked a number of questions based on their living environment. That information will provide a rough estimate of their carbon footprint. Members may then choose Reduction Center on the website, where they can pledge to reduce their footprint in various ways, such as washing dishes in cold water, taking shorter showers and turning down the thermostat.

“Although we currently have many more participants in the Challenge than Ithaca College, they have reduced their footprint by a greater percentage,” Zhe-Heimerman said. “We can take the lead if participants commit to reduce their footprint in the Reduction Center on the Challenge website.”

All pledges made in the Reduction Center will be used to calculate the pounds of C02 each individual will reduce in a year, as well the cost-effectiveness of the action.

“Regardless of who wins the Challenge, we are excited about how many members of the college community are learning about ways we can reduce our carbon footprint,” Zhe-Heimerman added.

For more information on the Cortaca Climate challenge, visit their website or contact Zhe-Heimerman at (607) 753-2358.