Washington State University (WSU) has continually looked for ways to reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Technological advances have allowed us to replace or update inefficient systems.
WSU Facilities Services operates two natural gas steam plants to create building heat and hot water as well as other vitally important campus processes such as sterilization in veterinary medical facilities and humidification of libraries and greenhouses. The rest of our energy is purchased from Avista whose portfolio consists of 48 percent renewable energy and 35 percent natural gas. WSU is also part of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration project which looks at ways to reduce energy consumption without impacting consumers’ needs.
The use of fossil fuels, while being an efficient and fairly accessible way to produce energy, is unhealthy for people and the environment. When fossil fuels are burned, greenhouse gases such as nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere. This pollutes the air and contributes to the formation of smog and acid rain and are exponentially increasing climate change and global warming. The most common gases emitted into the air are a result from human activities associated with energy production (30%), transportation (26%), and industry (21%).
It is surprisingly simple to implement an energy saving habit into someone’s daily life. This is an important habit to adopt as well, for it will not only limit the contribution of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but will reduce an individual’s energy usage and ultimately save them money on an energy bill. Listed here are some easy, effortless ways to save energy;
- Turn off lights when not in use or not in the room
- Unplug any appliances not in use
- Turn off temperature to the house when no one is home
- Find a book to read instead of binge-watching TV
- When selecting new appliance, choose those with ENERGY STAR ratings