MTV cleans your real world

Icebergs are sweating, the sky is falling and the ozone layer is Swiss cheese, and you still need a worthwhile reason not to take half-hour showers?

General Electric and mtvU have unearthed 25,000 reasons to rally your classmates in joining you in the fight against global warming.

The partnership’s Ecomagination Challenge brings together colleges and universities, including Temple, for a single goal – to “out-green” each other on their way to the top 10. These finalists will have their projects profiled on the General Electric Ecomagination challenge Web site, and may also be featured on mtvU.

The top school will receive a $25,000 stipend toward the execution of their projects and host a star-studded concert and festival in spring 2007. There are many ways to decrease global warming and General Electric and mtvU want college students to help make them known.

Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU, has total faith and confidence in college students’ ability to play a big role in this battle against global warming. “I consider college campuses to be the laboratory for innovative ideas,” Friedman said. A recent poll conducted by MTV and CBS revealed that young people named the environment as the number one problem that our generation will have to deal with in the future. Friedman wants all students to realize that global warming will be one of the tallest hurdles that this generation will have to jump and he encourages students to take action in this battle.

“[Global warming] is becoming an issue of top concern,” he said. “If this generation does not stand up in the fight against global warming, then this problem will continue to affect every generation after [us].In addition to participating in the challenge, students can help fight global warming in their everyday lives.

Removing cell phones from chargers, turning off lights and using low-wattage light bulbs are all ways to contribute to the fight against global warming. “It’s the little things that count,” Friedman said. This challenge is inspired by MTV’s “Break the Addiction” campaign – a yearlong, 12-step program that began on Earth Day 2006 and is dedicated to motivating young people to take action in the fight against global warming.

This challenge calls for innovative, creative and ambitious students to initiate the program. Laura Stein, an environmental studies major, is coordinating the challenge. Stein, in her sophomore year, is the president of Students for Environmental Action. In addition to the Ecomagination Challenge, the club is also participating in step two of the “Break the Addiction” campaign. This step, “The Climate Challenge,” is dedicated to the theme “Break your School’s Addiction.”

The major effects of global warming are just 30 years away. The Ecomagination Challenge is a chance to prevent these damaging effects from taking place. The contest’s deadline is Dec. 1.

Jonea M. Price can be reached at

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