Here's a quick few glimpses of what other colleges and universities nationwide are doing to go green.
For those who say renewable energy policies are pie-in-the-sky proposals, a recent story from The Daily O'Collegian reports that sustainable energy technologies can reap massive rewards for colleges—and at a time when they're needed most.
Sustainability saved OSU more than $5 million since June 2007.
OSU released its year-end saving results Friday. The Stillwater campus saved about 16 percent -- a 12-month savings of $3.1 million, according to the Energy Conservation Program press release. OSU-Stillwater saved more energy than the other campus branches combined, according to the press release.
President Burns Hargis said he was pleased that OSU was able to surpass its projected savings by $751,580.
"We are delighted with these results," Hargis said. "The savings are significant and are helping us hold down energy costs during challenging economic times."
Hargis said the savings were the result of hard work from the physical plant team and the commitment of employees and students.
Turning off lights and computers contributes to reducing energy costs, said Richard Krysiak, director of the Physical Plant.
Krysiak said although OSU is on the leading edge for implementing the "behavioral approach" to energy savings, he was still concerned that the savings goal could not be reached.
"I was skeptical about achieving those savings," Krysiak said. "Now, I’m a believer."
The Daily Targum reports that Rutgers University's Livingston campus is in the process of upgrading its facilities to include more than seven acres of solar powers to provide energy to campus and reduce its harmful emissions.
The Livingston campus at Rutgers University is seeing the eco-friendly light and acting on it.
In an effort to continue pushing toward a greener and more sustainable future, Livingston campus is undergoing a number of upgrades highlighted by the current installation process of more than seven acres of solar panels to help generate power and reduce emissions for the campus.
"We’re fortunate to have 7,000 solar panels being installed [on Livingston]," said Livingston campus Dean Lea Stewart. "This will be one of the largest arrays of solar panels for any university in the United States."
The installation of the solar panels, situated between Suttons Lane and Joyce Kilmer Avenue, will give the university the ability to generate 10 percent of the energy required to run the campus. That is enough energy to power 165 homes and reduce 1,216 tons of carbon dioxide a year, Stewart said.
At the beginning of each school year, many students come trudging back to school with brand-new refrigerators, DVD players, TVs and so on. But at the University of New Hampshire, The New Hampshire newspaper reports student leaders have passed a resolution urging students to purchase Energy Star-approved products, or products that have much greater energy efficiency than run-of-the-mill appliances. A great idea.
Next fall, as incoming students living in on-campus housing shop for sheets, bulk macaroni and laptops, UNH will request that students consider adding Energy Star to their approved appliances.
On Sunday, March 8, the student senate unanimously passed a resolution to strongly encourage incoming students to buy Energy Star-approved products as they start shopping for college.
The resolution was brought forward by the senate's Campus Structure Committee, which has been working closely with the UNH Energy Task Force to bring consistent sustainable practices throughout the campus.
According to Matt O'Keefe, the campus energy manager, overall energy costs have doubled in the last 10 years, and there has been a 2 to 3 percent increase in energy consumption in dorms over the past few years.
While it wouldn't be worthwhile to set up individual meters to measure the energy consumption of each student's room, campus structure's Kate McClain said it's in the best interest of all students living in campus housing to consider energy efficiency.