If you’ve ever walked around campus after dark, you’ve most likely noticed how many lights are left on in various buildings.
All around campus, the lights in buildings that are no longer unlocked are left on.
It is understandable that the campus wishes to have its buildings not looking ominous and dark, but the amount of electricity used to light these buildings most likely takes a large toll on our environment.
Even though some people (President Donald Trump) are not fretting over climate change, it is a real problem that needs attention now.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as much as 17 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a result of private homes’ extended use of electricity.
While our campus is not a private home, you can imagine the amount of CO2 our electricity output puts into the atmosphere.
Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have increased the atmospheric CO2 levels by more than a third. According to the Committee on Climate Change, CO2 emissions from humans have increased by more than 400 percent since 1950.
CO2 emissions is one of the leading causes of climate change. It is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas. An increase in CO2 means more greenhouse gases that trap additional heat. This trapped heat is what causes ice caps to melt and ocean levels to rise.
It’s hard to picture the effects leaving one or two lights on may have on the environment. Most people don’t think that leaving a light on or letting a fan run for an extended period of time will do anything besides slightly increase their electricity bill.
Many wonder why people choose to purchase expensive solar panels for their houses, offices and buildings. While the prices for these panels can reach up to $30,000 for a single house, they significantly reduce the amount of CO2 that gets distributed into our environment.
Again, I question why these lights get left on when they are dramatically increasing the amount of greenhouse gases that pollute our environment.
Even buildings that are no longer in use and are vacant (Foster Dining Hall) on our campus have lights that are still left on.
I think that not only our campus, but also others around the country, need to be more aware of the amount of energy they use.
Some universities, like the University of Arizona, Colorado State University and the United States Air Force Academy have made huge strides in attempting to reduce their carbon footprints.