The colder temperatures and harsher weather can cause energy usages to increase during the winter months. ETSU EcoNuts are encouraging students, especially those living on campus, to make small changes that can significantly reduce the amount of energy being wasted.
EcoNuts will be promoting Campus Conservation Nationals and the return of the Green Cup competition on campus. Both of these upcoming events aim to educate students while encouraging them to evaluate simple ways they can lead a greener lifestyle.
“I try to keep it simple when encouraging students to reduce their energy usage,” said Ashley Cavender, EcoNuts representative in Buc Ridge Apartments. “One of the simplest but most effective changes someone can make is to cut off lights, TVs and other appliances.”
EcoNuts’ representatives want to encourage students to start with small changes that require minimal effort when it comes to energy conservation.
“Sustainability can seem overwhelming if you do it all at once, but you have to take it in small steps,” Cavender said. “You’re still making a huge difference, especially if you do these things collectively.”
The Green Cup Challenge across the campus residence halls measures which hall reduces its energy consumption the most by making more environmentally conscious decisions. The competition, which was won by Powell Hall last year, spotlights the main ways we use energy on a daily basis through things such as electricity and showering.
“I rarely turn on my heat during the winter months,” said Gina Alston, EcoNut representative in Carter Hall. “You can leave it off during the day, especially when you’re away from your room, and it will still remain a comfortable temperature.”
One of the main issues EcoNuts run into with conservation attempts among on campus residents is that they are not paying a monthly energy bill. Students may not feel as pressed to watch how much energy they are using if they aren’t directly paying for it in the form of a monthly bill.
“While on campus residents may not be paying a monthly energy bill, if everyone living on campus were to use less energy then housing rates could potentially go down,” Alston said. “Housing officials look at things like energy consumption when determining rates.”
With the upcoming energy conservation competitions and the lingering of winter weather, EcoNuts’ want to encourage students to make changes, no matter how small.
“Our biggest goal as EcoNuts is to educate, we want to give students the initiative to get started,” Alston said.