In 2006, the overwhelming majority of emissions on campus came from heating and electricity, creating 39,649 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. This figure is equal to 87,412,096 pounds, or the amount of greenhouse gases generated by 7,625 cars in an average year. What can be taken from these statistics? The simple act of turning out the lights when leaving a room or shutting down a computer when logging off will have marked positive effects on our college’s contribution to curbing climate change. While this may seem obvious, an evening stroll through campus or a visit to a deserted computer lab reveals that many individuals are not cognizant of the benefits of reducing energy use. Lights can be seen shining from windows every night and throughout the weekend in empty academic buildings and barren residential common rooms. Additionally, it is an anomaly to sit down to a computer that has to actually be turned on, even early in the morning when presumably no one has used it all night. After a recent Saturday visit to three of Holman Hall’s computer labs, I found that only two of the sixty-one computers not in use had been shut down. Not surprisingly, the lights were on in two labs with no occupants. Judging by the energy usage in Holman, one would think there was a band of ghostly graphic designers in the building, working furiously to meet otherworldly deadlines. With the pressing need to act promptly to halt climate change, it is not much to ask to switch off lights and shut down computers.

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