Now with students help we can create better buildings to save energy and money for colleges and universities. Students have a big impact on campuses, and should be told what they can do to reduce energy usage. The following are examples of how students can get into energy reduction.
- Unplug electronics – Everything that can be unplugged should be unplugged. Even while not in use, devices still use energy.
- Switch to CFLs – Any lights that use compact fluorescent bulbs will save energy, also they will still produce plenty of light.
- Hang dry clothes - Save energy by not using a dryer to dry all of your clothes.
- For showering you need to take a cold shower, in order to use less hot water which reduces energy consumption. Just a little change from steaming hot to just warm temperature will save a bunch on energy.
- Wash clothes on cold - Another possibility to save is energy used to heat water is to wash your clothes in warm and cold instead of hot.
- Purchase a solar charger for small electronics – In today’s world we have available solar chargers that can be purchased online that attach to your window and allows it to collect sun rays to charge your electronic devices.
- Use fans instead of AC – The use of fans can be extremely effective at cooling a room. They are a lower-energy substitute to running the air conditioner on warmer days.
- Study together - Whenever possible, gather your classmates or friends to study in a group, this will save power by sharing energy rather than using your own.
- Buy solar power credits – Buying solar credits is definitely going the extra mile, but they are used to generate a lot of solar energy and offset your own energy usage. This is a great alternative for people–like college students–who don’t have a lot of control over how they generate electricity.
- Exercise outside - Changing your exercise habits to include the outdoors is an easy way to become more energy efficient.
- Buy ENERGY STAR qualified products - If you’re in need of a mini-fridge, television, laptop or air conditioning unit, shop with energy efficiency in mind (SAVER).
These are only 11 ideas out of hundreds a student can do to help the energy usage on their campuses. If students on campuses just changed their daily routines, they have a potential, per month, of saving 15% for every room, and would save an entire school (depending on size) $27,000 or more (Hakes). This money that gets saved would ultimately go back into finding more ways around a campus to reduce the energy usage.
Bradley University in Peoria, IL, is a good example of a school that needs a change in energy usage. They need to start inspiring students to try to think more about the ways in which they use energy within their dorms, but not excluding the usage throughout the campus. What they simply need to do is ask students to turn off lights, purchase energy efficient mini fridges, use LED light, bulbs close doors, lower the heat, and more. Also, Bradley’s campus is full of old building that are not designed to be energy efficient, and they also rely on outdated equipment. What the university should do is create fund that goes to building new building or renovation of the existing ones. This fund can be created from the money saved from energy reduction by students and facility members. This will be a good starting attempt to reduce their impact on the environment and the college or university itself. Bradley University has taken strides to energy usage through the construction of the Convergence Center in 2020. This building was to be LEED silver certified but unfortunately was abandon due to the time constraints with the commission and opening of the building. This building provides every amenity needed to reduce energy usage, such as LEDs in some rooms that produce the perfect amount of foot candles, paper towels in the bathroom, dimmers of all lighting throughout the building, and much more for reduction of energy usage. Even though Bradley is making strides to reduce energy usage, they can not do it alone. What this means is that everyone should do their part and participate in a cleaner tomorrow, not only for Bradley’s sake but for or future.
The energy usages on college campuses need to change to create a sustainable tomorrow. Throughout this paper, examples where given to help guide not only students but the colleges and universities as a whole. We saw this by looking at energy efficiency in campus buildings, what students and the colleges or universities can do to reduce energy uses, and what Bradley can currently do to reduce energy usages. Energy usages need to be reduced in our world and hopefully through this paper it can give you a good start on how to do it.