Our Earth Day Contest Winners!

Hydros Water Bottle and UPenn and Wharton For our Earth Day contest last week, entrepreneurs Aakash Mathur (W’09) and Jay Parekh’s (SEAS ’09) donated 3 of their revolutionary new Hydros water bottles (retail value $29.99) to 3 creative DT readers who told us what they are doing and/or plan on doing to go green.

After the jump, find out who won and read their winning entries.

More about the Hydros Water bottle HERE

Congratulations to our 3 winners!

Pamela Ehrenberg (C’94)
“Last week my 4-year-old was very proud that she figured out how to do her art project with fewer–and then zero!–plastic baggies so as not to “waste the environment.” I’ll be looking for more of those moments in the coming year.”

Carrie Loewenthal (C’04)
“One day at 5pm, I took a look at the garbage can in my office and noticed all of the water bottles I had gone through in asingle day. Since then I have been using a reusable bottle and have been encouraging coworkers to do the same.”

Garret McKay (C’10)
“Perhaps the biggest challenge we face as we transition into the next decade is “going green.” For a lot of people, this is just a catchphrase, an ambiguous collection of morals and ethical codes we have to abide by to ensure the longevity of our planet. But really, what it comes down to is a commitment. A comparatively small commitment on each of our parts to become more cognizant of the choices we make and how they effect the environment around us. Here are some ways I am being “green” and ways I intend to “go green” as the year progresses.

-Reduce Energy Costs: Heating and cooling cost lots of money and are big environmental stressors. I try to set my thermostat lower, switch to flourescent light bulbs, unplug my appliances when I am not using them, wash clothes in cold water, and use a line to dry clothes.

-Save Water: I have reduced shower time and plan on installing a low-flow shower head in my shower when I have my own place.

-Conserve Gas: I enjoy walking and biking and try to do this whenever possible. Carpooling is a great way to cut down on pollution when traveling in cars is a necessity.

-Eating: I always try to eat locally grown products as much as possible. Eating a lot of meat is a big environmental strain – and whenever you eat meat, always choose locally raised, humane, and organic meat.

-Water: Water consumption doesn’t just apply to the shower. I don’t buy bottled water anymore. Instead, I use a Brita filter and use reusable bottles like Sigg and Nalgene.

Borrowing or Buying Secondhand Products: We all want “new” stuff. But sometimes secondhand products are just as good, and they are always better for the environment. Garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops have great stuff. Borrowing library books is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying new books. And sharing things like tools helps too!

Compost: I plan on saving all of my leftover foods (those that are natural without oils) and creating a compost pile. Compost is great for the earth and can, in turn, be used to fertilize plants and vegetables of your own.

Here are a few other things I currently do or plan to do in the year:

-Buy in bulk
-Donate electronic items
-Make my own cleaning supplies

When thought about in this way, “going green” doesn’t seem so daunting and is, in fact, a very obtainable goal. By making simple life changes, these decisions become habit and impact the greater global community in profound ways.”

For other Penn folks who want to donate a prize for a future DT contest, email me at 


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