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Students take the pledge: lights, power, conservation!

Did you know that unplugging appliances when not in use or using a power strip eliminates “vampire” energy—small amounts of electricity sucked up by anything with a plug when it’s not in use? PSU EcoReps reached out to over 50 students last Wednesday night as part of a build-up to Campus Conservation Nationals—a nation-wide competition to reduce electricity and water use in campus residence halls. 

During the event, EcoReps spread the word about positive actions students can take to be sustainable, and encouraged them to take a “sustainability pledge.” Each student who pledged was entered into a raffle for prizes that would help them make more sustainable choices, like power strips that stop sucking vampire energy when turned off.

Lots of students were excited to learn that taking a pledge to be sustainable can be as simple as pledging to turn the heater or lights off when gone during the day. One student even pledged to turn the lights off for a full 24 hours! The event was held in Ondine, outside of Victor’s dining hall to meet students on their way to and from dinner. 

Additionally, dinner in Victor’s was held by candlelight, reducing the amount of electricity used during the meal. The staff at Victor’s took their own pledge to purchase as much of their food as possible from local vendors. The willingness of students to interact and be part of the sustainable community at Portland State was incredible. Hopefully the momentum will build, inspiring students in the residence halls and all across campus to conserve as part of Campus Conservation Nationals and in the future.            

Look out for PSU EcoReps on campus in the coming months!

Emma Prichard is a freshman honors student majoring in Environmental Studies. She is also an EcoRep working to make campus residence halls more sustainable and the coordinator of Take Back the Tap, a campus organization working to encourage the Portland State community to drink tap rather than bottled water.

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