Looking for ways to make our campus more sustainable or even just looking to save on your electric bill? Lucky for you, ‘Ville Unplugged has begun. The campaign is ready to inspire students to make small lifestyle changes that, when combined, can significantly reduce energy use, according to the Millersville’s Climate Action Plan draft.
The three-week sustainability campaign will run from March 25 to April 15 and will focus on the actions of individual students that can accumulate to make a campus-wide difference. Millersville University’s Sustainability Manager, Chris Steuer, believes that college is a great time to be exposed to new lifestyle ideas. Not only are students thinking about and evaluating lots of new ideas, but they are also “sitting on that bridge between being the future generation and being the decision makers,” according to Steuer.
“Looking at the world through the lens of sustainability asks us to think about how we can meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” Steuer says.
Student Sustainability Ambassador, Sean Domencic, assists Steuer in organizing, planning, and promoting the sustainable activities on campus. Domencic and his fellow student ambassadors helped to choose the activities for this year’s ‘Ville Unplugged. They will be tabling around campus throughout the next three weeks.
“We often complain about the political inaction regarding carbon emissions and other forms of pollution, but nothing will change until we begin to take action ourselves,” says Domencic.
Students can win prizes by posting pictures of themselves taking steps to save energy on Instagram using “#SustainMyVille”.
Random winners will be selected each week from those who post; winners will score a $50 gift card to the University Store.
The campaign will hold a competition among the residence halls and among seven classroom buildings to see which can conserve the most energy. The residence hall that can use the least amount of energy over the three weeks will win “bragging rights and prizes.” To check out where your residence hall or classroom building stands, check out Millersville’s Energy Dashboard by scanning the Snapcode on the front page with the Snapchat app. Steuer hopes to see a lot of participation from students in this year’s ‘Ville Unplugged.
“Watching how buildings perform on the dashboard is fun, but I most enjoy seeing faculty, staff, and students promote their energy-saving actions on social media and seeing efforts to save energy while walking around campus,” says Steuer.
Millersville’s radio station, WIXQ, will also be helping spread the word about conservation and sustainability. Station manager, Carl Schulz, says the station wants to think of their area of expertise, which is music, from an environmentally conscious perspective. In order to do this, they will be playing acoustic, or “unplugged”, music throughout the three-week campaign. Steuer, along with some faculty and students, will also be guest starring on the station to talk about energy conservation and sustainability. Schedules for unplugged sessions are still tentative, but Schulz says that students can expect to hear from Steuer on Delaney Costante’s show, which airs on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, either this week or next.
Schulz urges students to recognize the imminent threat that climate change poses on our planet. He believes that it is our responsibility as conscious adults to realize the potential dangers that await our planet if we keep living the way we do.
According to Millersville’s Climate Action Plan, Pennsylvania has already begun feeling the effects of climate change. The commonwealth has seen a temperature increase of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit and a general trend toward increasing levels of precipitation over the past 110 years. By 2050, Pennsylvania is expected to have a temperature increase of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit along with an increase in precipitation levels and intensity. These changes will affect the way Pennsylvanians produce food, generate energy, conduct business, and interact with their environment, according to the Climate Action Plan.
“If we can begin to reverse some of the damage through environmentally conscious behaviors, it will pay dividends in the long run. The smallest actions help,” Schulz says.