Make a Difference by Going Green Next Week

Make a Difference by Going Green Next Week

Starting next week, The University of Alabama’s energy management and recycling departments will kick off the first “Green Office Week” on campus.

During the week of Feb. 18-22, energy management and recycling will present tips and issue challenges for UA faculty and staff to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable in the office.

“Energy management monitors the University’s energy use and maintains an environment that is conducive to work and study,” said Faith Henley, student marketing director for the energy management department. “We seek to educate UA faculty, staff and students on energy efficient practices that will lessen not only the campus’ energy use, but also our environmental impact.

“The process of producing energy by burning fossil fuels has negative impacts on the planet by releasing carbon into the air and using up our natural resources faster than what’s sustainable. Until the process of producing energy with renewable resources becomes energy efficient it’s import to conserve energy as much as possible.”

Henley, who was inspired to create Green Energy Week by a company that does it annually in the United Kingdom, said last year the University spent $23 million in utility expenses on power, natural gas and water.

By reducing that cost, not only will UA put less strain on the environment but that saved money can be used to invest into further improving the institution.

The performance goal of energy management is to reduce energy consumption per square foot by 2 percent each year through 2020.

“We want to be a resource to help faculty, staff and students accomplish the goal of being more sustainable the best we can, and this week is focused on giving them the tools they need to do so,” Henley said.

“We’ll put out tips through social media and the UA newsletter. They can react with us through #UAGreenOfficeWeek and share what they’re doing as well as share their tips with us on how to be green, and if they’re good, we’ll use them.”

The UA community doesn’t have to wait until next week to start making green decisions. If someone wants to start going green today, Henley said people can request recycling bins in their offices and be sure to turn off every computer and the lights before leaving work each day.

“If hundreds of computers are left on overnight on campus, that’s a lot of energy that adds up overnight. We know that the faculty, staff and students at UA want to be green, so this week will be about sustainable practices people can incorporate into their daily lives.”