Ever-increasing gasoline prices affect more than just the pocketbooks of consumers at the pumps. Large organizations and businesses that rely on gas to operate must bear the burden of higher prices at the pump on a grand scale. With UPD patrols, 4-RIDE and the Mount Vernon Shuttle using gas daily, GW is no exception.
While GW isn’t planning to cut back on gas consumption because it considers those services essential, there are tangible ways in which both administrators and students alike can save energy and money through a campus conservation plan.
The University can cope with additional gas-induced budget expenditures by adopting a common-sense approach to energy conservation. GW officials should study campus energy use and compile recommendations students and administrators can use to produce a more energy-conscious campus.
Many major campus buildings sit unused at night with all of their lights on. At Catholic University, the student center employs a motion-sensor system that only turns on lights while students are using the facility. The energy savings such a system enables amounts to a significant sum of money. In other GW buildings, faculty members could be trained on ways to best conserve energy in their classrooms and offices.
Most students would be willing to assist in campus conservation if they were given common-sense ways to do so. An easy-to-understand conservation plan for students would encourage them to complete such simple tasks as turning off their lights and air conditioning when not in their residence halls. While no plan will make GW completely energy-efficient, focusing on minimal ways to contribute could catch on with students.
Students and their families are not going to be insulated from the effects of rising energy costs anytime in the foreseeable future. It is time for everyone to contribute to common-sense practices for reducing GW’s energy consumption, and thus create habits that will reduce energy consumption in the future.