Friday, October 12, 2012

UnPLUg it: Contest starts good habits

By Taylor Lunka, Guest Writer

Few things are simpler than pulling the plug. UnPLUgged is a campus-wide effort to reduce energy use, encouraging everyone to conserve energy and unplug electronics.

UnPLUgged is a fun way to help the environment, and this year it is more public than it has been in previous years.

Not only is there a chart chalked outside of the Anderson University Center to track which residence hall is saving the most energy, but there are also unPLUgged events going on all month.

I know I have a horrible habit of leaving my phone plugged in all night and leaving my power strip on even when I’m not using it.

UnPLUgged is an easy and extremely beneficial way we can be more sustainable on campus.  “Hour of No Power” and other unPLUgged events don’t make our lives harder, so there’s no reason why people can’t participate.

I know a lot of people who are either too lazy or just don’t feel like unplugging their power strips or hair dryers when they aren’t using them.

Before coming to PLU, this used to be me too. But being at a university that cares about the environment and being sustainable has made me realize how easy it can be to change our behaviors.

Not only does this save the university money, it also makes our world more sustainable for the future. Although you may think saving energy means the school is saving tons of money, that’s not the case.

According to Christine Cooley, sustainability director for the university, the amount of money we save at PLU is pretty insignificant.

Unfortunately, the amount of energy saved from events like “Hour of No Power” doesn’t show up on the university’s power bill.

Although there are more savings for the month of unPLUgged, it still doesn’t cover the extra costs from the increasing electricity rates in the past.

There are plenty of fun unPLUgged events going on this month. Students  have the chance to get more connected with PLU and see all of the simple ways to be sustainable, not only when you are on campus, but off campus as well.

However, it is still more important than ever to go outside and have fun without using electricity.

It’s healthier for your mind, body and for our planet.

I know many of you are told over and over to unplug and are probably annoyed by it, but seriously, just unplug whatever you aren’t using.

Even if something is plugged into the wall, but you aren’t charging your laptop or phone, it still uses electricity.     I strongly encourage all of you to stop being lazy and unplug. Not just this month, but every day. It’s a good habit to get into.