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Campus reduces carbon footprint in campaign

Results of the switch off campaingn on campus’ halls Photo: sussex.ac.uk

Make half a million cups of tea, keep a light bulb going for over a century, or fly the London-Manchester route 178 times.

These are just some of the tasks that could be done using the energy University of Sussex students have saved as part of the Student Switch-off campaign.

Eight percent of students in halls of residence have signed up for Student Switch-off, a national campaign which encourages participants to perform small energy-saving measures such as switching off appliances and putting lids on pans. So far student efforts have reduced carbon emissions by eight tons.

“I’ve been really impressed by the enthusiasm that University of Sussex students have shown in getting involved”, said Danni Paffard, the campaign spokesperson.

He added: “Students from the University of Sussex are contributing to a national campaign making significant environmental and financial savings across the UK, and playing an important part in the fight against climate change.”

With half the year gone, Park Village and Park Houses (including, Kent House, Lancaster House and York House) lead the way in the campaign.

University of Sussex Students’ Union Operations officer Biz Bliss is cautiously optimistic: “The aims behind the scheme are great, but in trying to engage a broad range of people, the seriousness of the issue of climate change can sometimes get lost.
I hope that over the coming year, the right cord can be struck, in which many students get involved in the campaign, and ultimately change their behaviour.”

The national switch off campaign started in October and is running is 37 different universities. Many students have already submitted their pictures onto the ‘University of Sussex Student Switch Off’ Facebook group and have been awarded with gift and NUS extra cards.

One first year student living on campus accommodation reacted to these findings: “I cannot believe that we were able to save eight tons!

“That is shocking but so good to hear. I didn’t think we would be able to do so much in such a short time, it just makes you realise that a little bit of effort can go really far.

“Me and my housemates had loads of fun, thinking up small simple ways to save energy on campus including making dinner together so we didn’t waste any gas or making tea for everyone so the kettle was used once instead of four or five times.

“It may sound cheesy but I am really proud of everyone involved. I hope that people will see our efforts and see that if we all make one change in our lives, that one change can have a big impact on the world. After all, we can’t go on as we are in terms of the climate, not just the economy and spending.”

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