University emphasized importance of conserving engergy

Ryan Landolph

Kent State is serious about saving energy, and the office of sustainability is leading the initiative to educate students.

“Energy conservation is important because it saves money, and those are dollars that we can allocate toward educating students or doing research,” said Melanie Knowles, Kent State’s sustainability manager.

When it comes to energy conservation, students living in the residence halls can do many things to help, as any contribution, no matter how significant, makes a difference.

“The biggest thing that students can do is with their plug loads…which is making sure things are turned off or unplugged,” Knowles said. “When (students) have a charger plugged in, even if nothing is charging, it is still drawing energy. If something is plugged into (the wall) that is fully charged, that draws even more energy.”

Students can get even simpler than that, as Knowles said turning off lights or making sure windows are closed have great benefits as well.

Rachel Harper, a sophomore fashion merchandizing major, has taken some of Knowles’ advice.

“To conserve energy in my dorm, I make sure to turn off all the lights when I leave the room,” Harper said. “I also try to turn off the air conditioning when I am not in the room.”

The university also puts on competitions to encourage and educate students on the importance of energy conservation.

When students participate, it makes a huge difference. Knowles said residence halls have shaved 5 or 6 percent off its total energy consumption in the past.

Currently, “Do it in the Dark” is underway in residence halls across campus, and the competition lasts until Nov. 14.

“(With) ‘Do it in the Dark,’ we challenge students to conserve as much energy as they can,” Knowles said. “This is an opportunity to educate students about (how to conserve energy), while making it fun by making it a competition.”

Kent State puts on another competition, “RecycleMania,” which runs from Feb. 7 through April 2. The university has recycling all over campus, but this event takes it a step further. Unlike “Do it in the Dark,” this is widespread, in which the university takes part in the national competition.

“’RecycleMania’ is a competition amongst colleges and universities in the United States and Canada,” Knowles said. “It is an opportunity for us to see how much we can increase our recycling as a campus.”

Jill Church, director of residence services, emphasized the comments made by Knowles, as she said that it is a goal of residence services for students to be aware and educated on the importance of energy conservation and recycling.

While students can make impacts to the university by following Knowles’ advice and participating in the competitions, energy conservation as a whole goes much further.

“It also reduces air pollution and makes cleaner air for all of us to breathe,” Knowles said.

Harper agreed with Knowles, saying that with the Earth’s resources diminishing, students should be making any and all efforts to conserve energy whenever they can.

Ryan Landolph is the resident halls reporter for the Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]