Thinking green off campus

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Sep 142011
 
Authors: Trevor Lowry

Saving energy can be as simple as turning off a light switch. Although there is more to it than that, students and experts say it’s important that off-campus students stick to CSU’s green standard by being more energy-efficient.

Tanya Ocana, a junior journalism major, believes conserving energy can be very easy when living off- campus.

“They can start by turning off the lights in rooms that are energy efficient,” Ocana said. “They can also wash their dishes by hand, instead of using a dish washer.”

Ocana also said unplugging appliances could help conserve energy.

Experts agree with Ocana’s simple methods. Carol Dollard, an energy engineer who works for CSU, had similar energy conservation ideas. Dollard agreed that turning off the lights and unplugging appliances are key to saving energy, but she also stated other energy conservation ideas.
“Heating is the biggest energy bill in Colorado,” Dollard said.

Dollard advised students to bundle up during the winter and be conservative when it comes to using the heater.

Another energy killer is the refrigerator.

“An old fridge is very bad at energy efficiency,” Dollard said.

Dollard went on to say refrigerators that are 10 years and older should be replaced because they use a lot more energy compared to newer refrigerators. Although this may not be a problem for students living in apartments, it is an important issue to bring up to landlords and students who own their houses.

Outside of the house, Dollard explained that students do not have to drive their cars. Instead, they can ride their bikes, walk or take the bus. She went on to say not only would this help with using energy efficiently, but it would save students money on gas.

There are groups involved not only at CSU, but also in Fort Collins that are trying to help the community use energy more efficiently. One of these groups is CoPIRG Energy Service Corps.
“Last year, CoPIRG taught 1,000 students how to save energy…this year we plan to double that,” said Royce Hoffner, CoPIRG Energy Service Corps Media Intern.

They will achieve this by assisting communities through service projects and events, giving out internships for credits, providing free energy assessments, and much more, according to their website.

CoPIRG Energy Service Corps’ mission is to “educate and engage communities around energy efficiency.”

_Collegian Writer Trevor Lowry can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

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