Energy conservation seems to be a new obsession among today’s students — and with good reason. With more and more evidence supporting global warming, the need to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency is becoming an ever more important aspect of life, especially in a community as large and diverse as the University of Washington.
WashPIRG hosted a CFL light-bulb swap with the help of more than 30 eco-conscious volunteers yesterday, marking the culmination of a project that began earlier this year. Former senior Chris Bruno expressed interest in reducing the UW’s carbon footprint, so he asked Seattle City Light last April to make a small donation; 3,500 light bulbs later, Bruno had successfully converted three-fourths of the campus. WashPIRG will be tackling all remaining light fixtures over the course of the next several weeks, which will amount to approximately $12,000 per year in energy savings.
The UW has received a $283,400 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy via the Clean Cities Coalition to help it purchase hybrid vehicles and construct an electric charging station to support its electric fleet.
The University plans to replace five diesel stepvans with five hybrid models to be used in Mailing Services distribution operations and replace one diesel para-transit bus with one hybrid para-transit bus to be used to transport those with disabilities in the UW Shuttles program.
If green is the new black, then the University of Washington is one of the trendiest campuses in the nation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the UW is the second most eco-friendly college in the country, behind only the University of Colorado, Boulder. The UW’s high ranking is largely due to the fact that Housing and Food Services (HFS) recently teamed up with International Paper and the Coca-Cola Company to create an ecotainer cup that is 100-percent compostable.
The Dawg Daze Technology Fair included a presentation on "Green IT" by Kelli Trosvig, Chief Operating Officer, UW Technology. As part of the Climate Action Plan, UW's sustainability initiatives will look at various strategies such as green purchasing, power management, data center efficiencies, consolidation and virutalization. The presentation was shared with students, staff and faculty who attended this year's Technology Fair.
View the Green IT Presentation
University of Washington recognized for leadership in sustainability according to Inhabitat.com, a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
This year, the United States is participating in the Group of Eight environment ministers meeting in Sicily, Italy; the goal is to replace the 1998 Kyoto Protocol and draft a new agreement to regulate carbon emissions.
“The U.S. government now fully acknowledges the urgency and complexity of climate-change challenges,” Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), told reporters last week. “And we know full well that a meaningful U.S. response to this challenge is absolutely essential.”
The CFL Exchange Project, to be conducted in April, will exchange all incandescent light bulbs on Seattle campus with energy savings CFL bulbs. The task is being led by UW senior Chris Bruno, with help from many student volunteers. This exciting venture builds on a similar successful project recently done in the University’s residence halls and Greek system houses. The completion of this project will not only reduce UW’s carbon footprint, but is also estimated to reduce our utility costs by approximately $12,000 a year.
Fleet Services (formerly Motor Pool) has added some new features to its UCAR program, making car-sharing more convenient -- and green -- than ever for the UW community. Four UCARs are now available in the N22 parking lot, directly across from Hall Health. The site features a solar-assisted key manager, the electronic box where UCAR users retrieve vehicle keys after making reservations online. A solar panel on top of the key manager collects energy to supplement its battery, helping to extend the battery life, according to Fleet Services Program Coordinator Larissa Austin.
With the help of green-minded student volunteers and light bulbs donated by Seattle City Light, senior Chris Bruno hopes to exchange more than 4,000 incandescent light bulbs across campus to improve campus energy efficiency.