Nowadays, a world driven by technology and devices requires a huge amount of energy consumption, the reduction of which in university campuses may significantly enhance the current situation. High consumption of energy resources increases both supply and demand as well as causes environmental issues such as climate change or global warming. The encouragement of pro-environmental behaviors on campuses is essential to create a more sustainable future based on awareness and appropriate environmental attitudes.
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There are several ways that can be used to reduce adverse environmental impacts. For example, focusing on the change in the method of transportation, it is possible to mention the transition to cycling when the cycle is to be charged with the help of special batteries and the kinetic energy, and the same applies to single-occupant vehicles (“Transportation,” 2017). The successful example of the above solution is Stanford University, where not only cycling but also drive-sharing along with diesel-electric bus services are implemented to decrease emissions (Pittman, 2017).
Recycling awareness is another option. For example, George Washington University aims at reducing its “carbon footprint by 40 percent by 2025” through single-stream recycling and Meatless Mondays to educate students (Pittman, 2017, para. 8). Such an approach to advancing the environmental attitudes of students is likely to help them to understand their role in decreasing energy consumption.
It is of great importance to encourage responsibility and the aspiration to sustainability in students during their everyday activities and learning. Smith (2013) states that the students of the McGill Life Sciences Complex, the laboratory at one of the Canadian universities, developed a Shut Your Sash program that allowed to reduce energy consumption by 80 percent (para. 8). According to the mentioned program, the laboratory users should close their fume hoods while not working on experiments.
This easy strategy proved to be rather effective, and the students plan to expand it to other universities as well. Among other energy-saving measures, one may note turning off the lights, unplugging idle electronics, and shutting down the laptops when they are not necessary or when the students leave their rooms. The paramount goal is to ensure that every student understands that he or she can make a contribution to energy conservation.
In this regard, following the example of the University of Pennsylvania, it is possible to initiate a “power down” challenge (Pittman, 2017, para. 9). The students are to compete to determine who can reduce energy consumption most of all, by using less energy. Thus, cycling, recycling, competition, and transportation are the key areas to focus on while striving to minimize energy consumption in campuses in terms of encouraging students’ pro-environmental behaviors.
Pittman, O. (2017). 25 of the greenest college campuses in the U.S. Web.
Smith, E. (2013). The greening of Canadian campuses. The New York Times. Web.
Transportation. (2017). Web.
Vassileva, I., Wallin, F., & Dahlquist, E. (2012). Understanding energy consumption behavior for future demand response strategy development. Energy, 46(1), 94-100.