A little spring greening

On Saturday, millions of people were in the dark for an hour — not by human error, but by choice. It was part of the second annual Earth Hour, a worldwide event where people joined together to make a statement about energy conservation by turning off their lights and non-essential appliances for an hour.

Here in Kent, we’re sure many of you didn’t embrace this opportunity. Hell, nobody on the editorial board even joined in. But we shouldn’t let that stop us.

As college students, we have a lot on our minds. We have impending exams, drama between friends, financial issues and other problems that cause us to lose sight of what’s important. Because of the nature of our lives, we forget about the simple things we can do to save energy and protect the environment.

We won’t blast you with facts reminding you what a failure our society has been in promoting energy conservation. We won’t encourage you to read about everything Al Gore has said in the last eight years. We don’t want to scare you into doing something, but we’re going to ask you to think about how you’re personally contributing to the energy crisis.

As you’re reading this newspaper in class, ask yourself whether you left your laptop running in your apartment or dorm room. Believe us, nobody really needs to read your away message on instant messenger while you’ve been idle for 15 hours.

If you’re reading this on your computer, take a moment to think about whether you left all the lights in your kitchen or bathroom burning bright.

As you’re sitting in the Hub finishing a hearty meal before your next class, think about what you’re going to do with that empty Dasani bottle or Coke can. It’s definitely worth the effort to walk a few extra feet to put it in the recycling bin.

Last semester, an energy conservation competition was held in the residence halls. After the final readings, only two halls increased their energy consumption.

Residence Services also held a recycling contest this month, which was another step in the department’s effort to go green.

This is admirable, but let’s not let it stop there. We can’t depend on administrators to bribe us with pizza parties and prizes if we recycle or reduce energy consumption. We, as students, need to put ourselves in the mindset. A flourishing environment is the greatest prize possible.

We’re not asking you all to make major life-changing adjustments. We don’t expect you to install solar panels or buy a Toyota Prius, but we want you to just to be a little more aware of the difference you can make by doing the small things like turning off the lights.

It’s not about being an environmental activist. It’s about being a conscious human being.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.