Project promotes energy conservation

A major theme in the environmental movement is energy. Questions of where electricity comes from and how much oil is left are not only the concern of conservationists. Many power companies and even the Pentagon are taking the idea of energy conservation seriously.

On Murray State’s campus a small group of students are making their own efforts in saving energy (and money).

The Green Campus Living Project was started in 2010 to encourage the residential colleges to save both electricity and water.

Madeline Bartley, junior from Louisville, Ky., and coordinator of the Project, said the residential colleges compete against themselves to see who has saved the most energy at the end of the year.

“They are not competing against each other directly,” Bartley said. “Each college competes against itself and whoever saves the most (energy) at the end of the year wins.”

Bartley said the project is an important one for students to take part in so they can see their impact on the University.

“Students and the University should be concerned about our footprint,” Barley said. “We need more thought on how to save energy on this campus.”

Caleb Johnson, junior from Bowling Green, Ky., and volunteer with the Project, said he wishes more students would take notice on how much energy they use on a daily basis.

“I don’t think young people are aware of their impact,” Johnson said. “Older people are used to being rationed, but this idea is something younger people couldn’t care less about.”

Johnson said the most important idea behind the Project is showing students where energy comes from and how much it really costs.

“Energy isn’t free,” Johnson said. “We pay huge costs socially, economically and ecologically.”

Josh Jacobs, chair of Murray State’s Presidential Commission on Campus Sustainability, said it is important for everyone, not just students, to conserve energy on campus.

“Saving energy for the University is multi-faceted,” Jacobs said. “Of course there is the monetary savings experienced by the University due to the reduction in use and the ability to redirect those funds to other priorities, but there are additional benefits that can be realized by individual participants. Participating students, faculty and staff can benefit through participating in educational activities of green practices and potential life behavior change for personal energy and cost savings.”