The students at Freed-Hardeman University recently learned of the university's decision to make the campus more energy efficient. What they didn't know is that this decision has been in the works for about a year now. They reached out to "Cenergistic", an expert company in energy conservation and started adopting a policy for the school. Molly Plyler was hired then to be our own energy conservation expert. Her job is to help the school stay in energy guidelines. When I talked to Plyler about these new guidelines, she made it clear that it was far more than patrolling the campus to make sure unnecessary lights are turned off. On the matter of energy conservation, Plyler said, "Our energy conservation efforts are about eliminating energy waste on campus, not hindering necessary use. We are able to do this using a variety of techniques which incorporate financial analysis of our energy costs, data collection on our buildings, educating ourselves on conservation techniques, and better management of our mechanical equipment. It takes an holistic approach to fully understand how energy is consumed on campus."
The day this was announced in chapel brought a lot of attention. Many students were curious as to what changes this would mean for the campus as a whole. I asked a fellow student, Mallory Mayhew, to tell me how she reacted to this new idea. She said, "Well, I appreciate that Freed is taking an initiative to start doing things more green. The students here really need to be more aware of what kind of damages they are causing and what kind of solutions they have available. Many students don't realize we have a recycling program with the blue bags in the dorms. If everyone recycled their milk cartons and paper waste, who knows how much waste we could eliminate with recycling." Mayhew makes a valid point that the school is now promoting. It doesn't take much to make a change. It just takes effort. Plyler said, "It is exciting to think about all of the opportunities that an energy conservation program brings to FHU. Not only will the program have a positive impact on the environment, but it will also allow us to reallocate funds that were used for paying electric and utility costs to funding other programs and needs on campus."
By Katelyn Collison