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January: Energy

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On April 17, 2014, Clarkson University’s President Tony Collins signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). This act acknowledged and committed the campus to take immediate steps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions , reduce the use of fossil fuels, find alternative sources of energy, and strive for a climate neutral position in the future. Although the sources of energy and building infrastructure are important, the consumer plays a vital role in the process.

Take part in the campus-wide action by participating in our New Sustainable Office Certification Program developed to be fun, interactive, educational, and most of all action oriented! Each small step you take leads to the president’s goal and will make a difference not only for you and for Clarkson but for our planet.

Starting now, January 2015, the new program kicks off with the question, “How are you currently using energy and how you can modify your current practices to reduce consumption?” Work through the following challenges, accumulate points, and win prizes, it is as easy as that! (Please note that if you are already taking steps, you still qualify for this challenge! We want to know what you are doing, how your are doing it, we want you to learn more and share with others!)

To claim your points for January before the end of the month fill out this form

Description Points
Small changes by many can make a big difference! Watch this quick, 6 minute video and learn the top 5 tips for saving energy in your office! Tell us at the end of the month which tip(s) you practice or have adapted.  4

Informed people can more easily take action! Attend a campus-wide seminar on the basics of climate change and efficient use of energy within an office setting. Check the campus calendar for opportunities! If you missed the seminar, no problem! Follow this link to watch the seminar and earn 2 points. 

Wednesday, 1/21/15, Student Center MPR's 241 & 242, from 11am to 12pm and from 12pm to 1pm (two sessions).

You can greatly reduce energy use and related emissions by shutting electronics off when not in use. Take 10 minutes and set your electronics to energy save, sleep, or hibernate modes and make your reduction automatic! For computers see this document for directions. Contact OIT if you need help.  5
Make a pledge and sign your department's posted pledge sheet (document found on department signs challenge below). Turn off lights, computers, monitors, and projectors, and other electronics when leaving any room on campus and at home.  4
Help us help you! Take 5 minutes and complete the Transportation Survey to help Clarkson University calculate their greenhouse gas emissions. 3

Do you know how you consume electric energy in your office or office suite?  Complete the inventory of office energy consuming appliances and report that you are in great shape or that you made changes over the month to reduce the electricity demand from your office appliances.


Send an office-wide email with a link to the videos on energy conservation in the office with encouragement to watch and adopt some of these practices. (First individual challenge video or video of seminar). CC


Post signs and stickers in your office/department reminding people to turn off lights and unused electronics. Make a request to for light switch stickers to be delivered and/or download and post any of the following: (Lights Pledge Poster) (Office Energy Saving Tips) (Lights off Poster) (Lights Trooper Poster)


Discuss office energy conservation strategies during an office meeting. (Office Energy Saving Tips)



Have you ever thought about your carbon footprint at home? Take 10 minutes and complete the EPA Carbon Footprint Quiz! Next, identify the biggest factor contributing to your emissions and plan a change to decrease it. 2
Ten times this month do one of the following: carpool, walk, or snowshoe to work or find and use another alternative way to work that reduces your carbon footprint. 3


Did you know? The United States of America represents about 5% of the world’s population, but we consume 25% of the energy produced.  Approximately 80% of the total energy consumed by the United States is derived from fossil fuels and approximately  70% of Clarkson’s electricity comes from fossil fuel sources. These sources emit a range of air pollutants and are not a sustainable source of energy.  Combusting fossil fuels –

  • Releases carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas (GHG) that humans release, leading to changes in the climate and a wide range of impacts.  For example, snowmobiling, skiing and ice fishing might not be possible in the region in another 10-20 years.
  • Releases sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, which are the leading cause of acid rain and that destroy some fish habitats in the Adirondack Mountains.
  • Releases particulate matter that may be too small to see, but that contributes to lung damage and an increase in the number of childhood asthma cases throughout the country.