For a high school senior, $14,000 is a lot of money. That should be more than enough motivation for Trumbull High School senior Anuj Sisodiya to win the 2015-16 Barton L. Weller Scholarship next spring. However, Anuj\u2019s inspiration goes beyond just cash \u2014 his project \u201cEnergy Savings and Awareness Week\u201d aims to rid the town of excessive energy consumption, and is tailored directly toward the THS student\u2019s lifelong passion for environmental protection. \u201cI was in a program in the fifth grade where I collected plastic bags that were brought to the recycling center,\u201d said Anuj, who plans to launch a weeklong community-involved energy week from Sunday, Feb. 7, through Saturday, Feb. 13. \u201cI collected 4,000 bags, and that was a lot more than I was expecting,\u201d he recalled. \u201cI was surprised at how willing people were to help the environment, and I\u2019ve been doing my part ever since.\u201d Anuj said he applied for the scholarship in October and heard back toward the end of the month that his proposal had been selected. As part of being a finalist, he received a $200 check on Nov. 4 that will help fund the project. \u201cI was pretty surprised when I got the letter in the mail \u2014 the application was posted on our bulletin board at school, so I knew there were going to be a good amount of people applying and that there was going to be a lot competition,\u201d the senior said. \u201cI thought it would be difficult, so I was shocked when I was selected.\u201d In addition to the plastic bags project seven years ago, Anuj has helped distribute automatic light timers during the holidays as part of an energy-savings campaign for Trumbull residents. \u201cWe got that money through a grant, and the light timers helped holiday light decorations turn off automatically after four hours,\u201d he said. Week outline Now, instead of turning off Christmas tree lights, the high school student is asking Trumbullites to go in the dark completely \u2014 only for one hour, at the end of the weeklong campaign. \u201cDuring Showdown at Sundown Saturday, everyone in town will participate by turning off their lights for an hour,\u201d he explained. \u201cThat\u2019ll mark the end of the week.\u201d Preceding it will be an array of other alliteration: Selfie Sunday, Monitor Monday, Technology Tuesday, Work Wednesday, Turn-off Thursday, and Fix-it Friday. The different days will encourage residents to engage with energy-saving techniques and be more mindful of how they use their power \u2014 at home and at work. \u201cSelfie Sunday is all about taking photos of you doing something that\u2019s helping the environment \u2014 that\u2019ll kick-start everything,\u201d he said. \u201cMonday, I\u2019d like for participants to monitor their energy bills and their meters.\u201d As the week progresses, there will be more encouragement toward energy reduction \u2014 and education about different techniques for making that possible. \u201cTurn-off Thursday is basically just turning off all non-essential electronics that don\u2019t need to be plugged in or charged,\u201d Anuj said. \u201cThat\u2019s a concept a lot of people forget, but it can really be applied easily.\u201d A day later, he\u2019s asking residents to check for leaks or anything that may cause excessive use \u2014 and fix those malfunctions. Energy crisis In his two-page written proposal to the foundation, Anuj created a color wheel image to accompany the rest of his plan, which also includes tracking how much money is saved in town over the week. For that part of the project, he will work with the United Illuminating Co., based in Orange. In addition to the written part of the application, he needed to submitted a letter of recommendation, which he got from UI, and include any other supplemental documents. \u201cThe energy crisis is a serious global issue,\u201d he wrote. \u201cIt\u2019s unthinkable what life would look like without energy resources. \u201cOld or young, student or teacher, businessman or serviceman, we all use energy from morning to evening in some shape or form,\u201d he added. \u201cWe spend about $150 billion in wasted energy every year. Many of us waste energy by keeping appliances on longer than necessary and failing to pay attention to energy-saving recommendations.\u201d Anuj, who serves as secretary of the high school\u2019s debate team, explained in his proposal that the issues of energy wastage and the lack of energy-saving awareness have been talked about and discussed many times. \u201cEvery year we read about these issues, celebrate Earth Day, organize Earth Hour, and then forget about the impact of these events,\u201d he wrote. \u201cWe are part of a community and a much bigger nation that is responsible for this energy crisis, but we have done very little to change our individual behaviors or make others aware about the improvements we can make to save energy.\u201d Promotion time A fan of alliteration and acronyms, Anuj labeled the weeklong endeavor E-SAW. That name should make the project more marketable going forward, but there is still the hurdle of asking residents to conserve energy during the coldest month of the year \u2014 and quite possibly the coldest week of that month. \u201cOf course, doing it in February will be a challenge, but I don\u2019t think it should affect the results,\u201d said the former Tashua Elementary School and Madison Middle School student. \u201cIf anything, when people make the switch to use less energy that week, then we\u2019ll see even more of an impact than if we did it later in the year.\u201d In case he needs additional help bringing awareness to his own awareness-minded project, Anuj does have that $200 start-up check that he will use on social media and flyers. One of the other parts of his project is creating a website where residents can sign in, one per household, and upload any pictures or documents that prove their participating in the week. \u201cThat\u2019ll be a way for me to track how everyone\u2019s doing,\u201d he said. While environmental protection and energy conservation are some of his passions, the young learner also likes building and designing websites \u2014 something that should make his life easier as he tries to create a platform that could store a whole town\u2019s worth of energy data. \u201cI\u2019m passionate about technology,\u201d said Anuj, who\u2019s also a member of the school\u2019s business club and plans to major in finance next fall. \u201cTechnology plays an important role in creating a more sustainable environment, and it also will help me get people to know more about what\u2019s going on,\u201d he added. \u201cIn order for this to work, the community needs to participate \u2014 kids of all ages, their parents, and their parents\u2019 parents.\u201d Scholarship background Established in 1977 by the founder of Vitramon Inc. in Monroe, the scholarship\u2019s purpose is to encourage academic excellence in a substantial independent research or study project. Anuj, who was named Trumbull\u2019s finalist to compete for the five-figure grand prize, will go up against four other selected seniors from Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Masuk High School in Monroe, Newtown High School, and Shelton High School. Entrants were required to submit proposals for projects in any field of study in which they have an interest, and a total of 29 proposals were received. Anuj, son of Mahesh and Anju Sisodiya, submitted his project with the objective of creating awareness about energy savings and environmental protection, and using social media, door-to-door campaigns and community events to create this awareness and measure the effectiveness of these tools. The five finalists were selected on the basis of originality, format of the proposal, project potential, and care with which the proposal and its planned implementation has been thought through. Prior to the awards dinner on April 27 at Fairfield University, the scholarship recipient will be announced. At the dinner, the $14,000 scholarship will be presented to the student whose project is judged to be the best. The scholarship will be paid directly to the college or university for deposit into the student\u2019s account. The scholarship will be awarded without regard to the student\u2019s existing financial status.