On Friday, February 22nd, our very own Director of Sustainability answered this giant question. Lisa McNeilly has been at UC Berkeley since 2008, and under her direction the campus has taken great strides toward becoming more sustainable. And she is just getting started!
The biggest take home from the forum was simple: YOU can be part of the solution. From bringing your own water bottle, to flipping off a light switch, to reporting a problem when you see one, all of these actions can have huge impacts. One story of individual effort was especially inspiring: One evening, a professor was working late and checked out Campus Dashboard. He noticed an enormous spike in energy that seemed abnormal due to the time. He called myPower, and within a few hours, they had turned off a forgotten machine, saving the campus $40,000.
It is this citizen involvement, a community of sustainability, that McNeilly is working to create on campus. It’s nothing new, she showed a slides with pictures of light switch reminders dating back to the 1970s. The logo has changed, but the goal is the same. What’s really awesome is that Ms. McNeilly has huge dreams for UC Berkeley. We are the number one public research university in the world, and she wants us to become the most sustainable university in the world, as well! Cal should be a place that practices what it preaches and ultimately provides the lowest carbon education. Exciting things are around the corner, and you can be a part of them! Here are some good first steps:
- Check out myPower@berkeley. A simple hub to see how much energy campus is using, broken down by individual buildings.
- Speak out when you see a problem: sprinklers on in the day? Energy spike when there shouldn’t be?
- Create a culture of sustainability (tell your friends why saving energy is important to you! Turn off lights when you leave a room, decrease your shower time by one minute!)
- Check out our jobs page to see when student positions are posted within the Office of Sustainability.
If you missed Ms. McNeilly’s talk, you can view it here.
-article by Erlin Sweeney, TGIF Program Associate