Centre is extremely proud of its student initiated projects that promote sustainability and energy savings. One project is the community garden, as emphasized in our last Sustainable Centre article. Another initiative is the Energy Star rated refrigerator project, in which students can purchase a discounted Energy Star rated compact refrigerator that will reduce electricity use and carbon emissions.
The project began in summer 2015 when Spencer Ruggles (’16) sought to decrease the college’s carbon footprint through affordable and effective means. Research showed that the dorm refrigerators already present on campus had an average of 336 kWh per year. Ruggles found an Energy Star rated model that was affordable for students and would use approximately 226 kWh per year.
The model chosen was the 4.4 cubic feet black Kenmore fridge. Sears partnered with Centre professor and Sustainability Office chair Dr. Preston Miles to offer students a fridge for $155. At a retail value of $199, this Energy Star refrigerator was an attractive opportunity for students. As an added benefit to students, Dr. Miles ensured that each fridge would be delivered to the students’ dorm rooms before their move-in date.
In its opening year, the project targeted first-year students and 32 orders were received. The use of these 32 Energy Star refrigerators saved Centre $350 and 3.5 tons of CO2 emissions during the 15-16 academic year.
The project was continued this summer and extended to all students on campus that may have been in need of a refrigerator. We received 30 orders, contributing to the savings of $330 of avoided costs for electricity and 3.3 tons of CO2 emissions this academic year.
We’re constantly impressed and proud of the initiative taken by students to make Centre a more sustainable and environmentally conscious campus!