Office of Environmental Sustainability

Oberlin Ecolympics

Ecolympics is back! From April 10 to April 23rd, 2023.
This year’s Ecolympics theme is to Think Global, Act Local.

Ecolympics is Oberlin's annual community resource reduction competition and event series that aims to minimize water and electricity usage through behavior change. The goal of the competition is to challenge participants from the College and the town to take sustainability-related action at both individual and local levels. The community event series strives to educate members of the Oberlin community by initiating larger conversations about sustainability and resource consumption through events, activities, and more!

The 2023 Ecolympics will feature three competitions that dormitories on Oberlin College’s campus will compete against each other in. Oberlin Elementary School, Langston Middle School, and Oberlin High School will also be competing. Public buildings including the Prospect Community Center, Oberlin Fire Station, OCSD Board of Education office, and Oberlin Public Library will compete as well. While participants are eager to win, everyone should work towards the community-wide goal to reduce electricity consumption by 10,000 kWh. Remember to Think Global, Act Local.

On Campus

Oberlin College monitors the 85 buildings that make up campus through a system called BuildingOS. This system is connected to the orbs that you may have seen located in dorms and the Science Center. This year, both residential and academic buildings will participate in a two week resource reduction competition. There will be separate building vs. building competitions within the Oberlin College campus, city schools, and municipal buildings, as well as a community-wide collaborative goal that aims for net resource reduction.  Participants will be able to track the progress of individual buildings using the widget below, which contains up-to-date data regarding the competition. This site can also be accessed via QR codes that are posted around campus.

To track current leaderboards in real time, please visit the Ecolympics Environmental Dashboard for all participants.

Allencroft (electricity only)

Asia House (electricity only)

Bailey (water only)

Baldwin (electricity only)

Barnard (both electricity and water)

Barrows (both electricity and water)

Burton (both electricity and water)

Dascomb (both electricity and water)

East (both electricity and water)

Firelands (both electricity and water)

Fairchild (both electricity and water)

Harkness (both electricity and water)

Harvey (both electricity and water) 

Johnson House (both electricity and water)

Kade (both electricity and water)

Keep (both electricity and water)

Kahn (electricity only)

Lord (electricity only)

Noah (both electricity and water)

North (both electricity and water)

Old Barrows (both electricity and water)

Price (both electricity and water)

Saunders (electricity only)

South (both electricity and water)

Talcott (both electricity and water)

Tank (both electricity and water)

Union (electricity only)

Zechiel (both electricity and water)

Track the progress of a dorm or campus building


Ecolympics is back after a 5-year hiatus! During the gap between competitions, not all of the meters for water and electricity were able to be regularly checked as the College began developing plans to institute the Sustainable Infrastructure Program, a project that will push Oberlin College to reach carbon neutrality. Now, as new technology is being implemented in buildings in order to increase energy efficiency, the meters are also being renovated. The construction on meters is ongoing and is a process that takes time and collaboration between a variety of technical experts. Because of this, not all buildings may be able to compete individually for water and/or electricity, but Ecolympics is more than just a competition, it’s a community effort to conserve resources and inspire environmental action. With the city-wide goal to reduce 10,000 gallons of water and 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, everyone can be a part of the effort to make the broader Oberlin community a more sustainable neighborhood. 

Village Housing is unfortunately not metered, but Village Housing residents can still contribute to sustainable change! If you are a Village Housing resident and would like to see what you can do to help your community save water and electricity, visit the Environmental Dashboard.