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Office of Sustainability organizes initiative focused on energy usage

Sept. 18, 2014

In an effort to bolster interest in energy reduction, the IU Office of Sustainability has organized Power Hour, an initiative challenging students to power down their devices, turn off the lights and interact with one another.

Power cord

Occupants of academic buildings are encouraged to participate in the effort by turning off lights and peripheral devices during Power Hour.

The event, set to begin 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 25, will be held in Read, Wright and McNutt residence centers and will feature glow-in-the-dark activities, T-shirt painting and tag.

“We are so plugged in, especially the students, and we want to build awareness about energy usage and the things we use all the time but don’t pay attention to," said Peggy Maschino, co-chair of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board.

Hayley Smith, utilities and conservation intern at the Office of Sustainability who helped organize the event, said she hopes it will spur student involvement. But part of the problem with generating interest, she said, is that many students don’t think altering their own habits will make a significant difference in IU’s energy use.

“We really try to get around that mindset,” said Smith, a junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. “It’s easy to rationalize that leaving the lights on or leaving the water running while they brush their teeth won’t have an effect, but it does.”

She’s hopeful the event will also promote the Office of Sustainability’s other initiatives, like the Fall Energy Challenge, a biannual campuswide competition that measures university buildings’ energy reduction over a four-week period, scheduled for Oct. 13 through Nov. 10.

Occupants of academic buildings are encouraged to participate in the effort by turning off lights and peripheral devices during Power Hour.

Additional information about Power Hour and the Fall Energy Challenge is available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.

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