Kill-a-watt kickoff

This past Monday night the dorm sustainability coordinators, in partnership with Residence Life, hosted a Kill-a-watt kickoff event in the Covenant Fine Arts Center.

The event began with a video narrated by poet Clint Smith which strongly encouraged viewers to consider their role in the proper care of the earth.

After the video, Devani Antuma, a sustainability coordinator, took the stage to introduce the Vice President of student life, Sarah Visser, one of the evening’s two keynote speakers. Visser began by pointing out that her young daughter, who was sitting in the audience, is her inspiration to advocate for creation care and environmental stewardship.

 Visser spoke about the role of creation care in the pursuit of shalom. Visser cited Cornelius Plantinga (author of the DCM standby “Engaging God’s World”), who describes shalom as the “webbing together of God, humans and creation.” Shalom, by this account, is not just about peace between people, Visser pointed out, but it’s about right relationship between God and people, between people and other people and between people and creation.

 Visser stated that as Christians we are called to many things—particular jobs, relationships and places—but each of those individual callings fit into the broader fabric of our larger callings to steward the earth, love our neighbor and seek shalom.

 After Visser had finished, Antuma took the stage again to host a riotous game of “sustainable jeopardy.” One representative from each dorm seated at a long table competed to answer questions related to the environment under the topics “Be Green,” “Celebrities” and “Sustainable.” Though there were answers from each dorm throughout the game, KHvR dominated the competition.

The second keynote speaker, professor Dave Warners, spoke last, sharing a biblical word and some of his passion for environmental justice. He discussed the story of the Babylonian king Belshazzar and the writing on the wall.

In the story, Daniel interpreted the writing from God to be a warning to the Babylonians against using sacred goblets from the temple for their own glory. Warners, in turn, used this story as a charge to the students to consider what “sacred goblets from the temple,” what things of God’s creation, are we abusing for our own glory? Warners provided the example of the mountaintop removal of many of the Appalachian Mountains.

Next, Warners challenged the students to consider what the writing on the wall says today. He claimed that today’s writing on the wall might be something like global warming or the rapid rate of species extinction.

Finally, Warners asked students to consider their role as modern-day Daniels, with the ability and responsibility to interpret the writing on the wall—to consider the evidence of the effects of climate change and humanity’s role in the perpetuation or reversal of environmental decay.

Warners charged the students to talk about these issues, participate in Kill-a-watt events and lifestyle challenges and encourage others to get involved as well.

To check campus-wide progress or for an update on Kill-A-Watt competition rankings, go to