When you pull into the A&S parking lot it is not difficult to notice the solar panels which line the fields. This is a large sustainable initiative, which provides 15% of the power needed for the A&S, library and Wellness Center, has gained recognition from the EPA. The solar panels provide “green” energy to the campus. This means that the energy created by the solar panels is renewable and reduces the amount of CO2 emissions which are generally created by conventional power systems (http://www.georgian.edu/news_releases/110418_green_power_champion.htm).
A little less noticeable, but definitely not any less important, is the change in thermostat settings on campus. The heating and air conditioning thermostats have been set to 78F and 68F, respectively, in attempt to reduce energy use on campus. Have you ever walked into a classroom in the winter time where it feels like the heat has been on full blast all day? Instead of leaving the heat (or air) running unnecessarily, the thermostats have been set in order to allow the buildings to maintain a comfortable temperature but also turn off when that temperature is achieved. This simple, yet efficient task can be performed at home, in an office, or any place that has a thermostat.
In my house during the winter, the thermostat is set so that it’s warm in the morning and evening when everyone is home, and cooler during the day and overnight while no one is home or we’re sleeping. If you can’t program your thermostat (i.e. if you live in a dorm room that has a thermostat with an on/off switch), turn it off just like you’d turn the light off when you leave the house! What do you do to conserve energy in your day-to-day life?