Saturday, September 29, 2007

What they are doing can be what we will do

Nicole, Donny and I decided to devote ourselves this week to examining other schools' solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their campuses.

Here are two examples I found so far (I posted here so that we would not repeat each other's work)

1. Incorporate energy efficiency measures into design and operation of campus buildings

This is what many schools are adopting to help with alleviation of greenhouse gas emissions, such as the University of New Hampshire. UNH implemented several measures in its residence hall, including using energy-smart lighting system, revamping building control systems and energy education for maintenance and operations staff as well as the broader university community. According to UNH, through a series of retrofits and educational programs, it is estimated that the university saves $4 million annually in energy compared to national average.

The University of Vermont has a more detailed description about its carbon neutralization projects related to buildings management:
*The temperature and ventilation on most major buildings are controlled through time and scheduling programs with specified settings.
*All major buildings on campushave had lighting upgrades to T-8 or compact fluorescent light bulbs - incandescent lights are no longerinstalled on campus.
*Campus vending machines received an recent energy retrofit in 2003; eighty Vending Misers™ power down their lighting and cooling systems after 15 minutes of inactivity, preventing an estimated 176,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
*In August of 2003 UVM replaced all laundry washing machines on campus with Maytag Neptune high-efficiency washers that each save up to $150 per year.
*The emergency exit signs in every campus building were replaced with LED bulbs during the 2003-2004 school year.

Campus buildings, including dorms, and the facilities inside should be considered as the core to the whole GHG reduction solution pack, because most of the energey consumption in school comes from these objects. It is also complex to develop detailed solutions for each building. But the main idea is clear: to have each equipment and each person who uses the equipment become energy efficient. Change the lightbulbs to LED bulbs, change the habit of keeping computers running all nights, remove unnecessary energy-consuming facilities...are all that can help carbon reduction.

2. Energy education for faculties, staff and students

The University of Vermont has a peer-to-peer education program with which students work in dorms to educate each other about reducing electricity use.
The UVM has also implemented the "Sleep is Good" campaign for computers, and placed mouse pads in all of the computer labs with info on the program. This is to encourage students to shut down their computers while they don't use them.
Similar projects also include a display using bikes to power appliances; lightbulb exchanges; and events.
The energy education looks particularly attractive to me. It will be a good idea, too, to have OU consider adding similar courses and holding similar campaigns for students, staff and faculties. Particularly, it is important to educate students who live on campus to save electricity in their dorms. Athens is a small town, so it will also be significant to encourage students to reduce their use of cars for transportation.

No comments: