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UAlbany Students Turn Off the Lights to Save Energy

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 20, 2007) -- The University at Albany's Energy Committee, part of the President's Environmental Sustainability Task Force, recently launched a new conservation campaign by encouraging students to reduce electricity use in residence halls.

During the campaign, which is part of the "UAlbany Goes Green" initiative, students' electricity usage at each residence hall will be tracked from Feb. 1-April 1. For more information, visit the UAlbany Goes Green Web site.

The energy-saving campaign also encourages students to:

  • Turn off lights when not in a room
  • Keep fixtures and bulbs clean. Dirt can absorb as much as 50% of the light.
  • Turn off computers and monitors when not in use. Enable computer sleep modes when not in use.
  • Wash full, not partial, loads when using the washing machine, and use cold water whenever possible. Don't overload the dryer, and be sure to clean the lint trap.

The Energy Committee's goal is to assess energy use and resultant air pollution at UAlbany; promote conservation and green energy use; reduce air pollution and produce savings; and focus particularly on engagement and sustainability.

"The committee also aims to educate students, faculty and the surrounding community on the importance of energy conservation," said co-chairman Andrei Lapenas, associate professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. "One way to do that is by actively engaging students in an energy-saving campaign on campus."

The energy-saving campaign is a collaboration of the task force with New York Public Interest Research Group.

The University at Albany recently kicked off "UAlbany Goes Green," a comprehensive environmental initiative that encourages University faculty, staff and students to "think and act green" by embracing the University's responsibility -- as a 20,000-person-strong community -- to conserve, recycle, and beautify the campus and environment.

Resources to be environmentally responsible include events and activities -- including "UAlbany Goes Green"-- are scheduled throughout the calendar year to educate and engage the campus. As part of the initiative, UAlbany is participating in the nationwide RecycleMania competition alongside more than 150 other universities and colleges to see who can tip the scales in recycling tonnage.

UAlbany's Go Green initiative and Task Force for Environmental Sustainability reinforce the University's recycling program through promoting research and education aimed at lowering consumption, protecting environmental resources, improving transportation efficiency, and reducing waste. In the past four years alone, UAlbany has recycled more than 3,000 tons-including an average of 1.7 million pounds of paper a year-or approximately 83 pounds per person. The University spends more than $15 million in utility costs in one year and the campus Physical Plant Department maintains an annual budget of $96,000 for recycling and refuse removal.

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit theUniversity at Albany. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts.

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