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Shutting Off Monitors, Saving Energy

A campaign spearheaded last fall by the student group Clean Energy for Smith (CES) to get students to voluntarily set their computer monitors to automatically go into power-saving “sleep mode” when not in use may save the college thousands of dollars in energy costs and could ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CES teamed with Information Technology Services and the college’s Green Team, a group that explores and implements sustainability efforts on campus, in prompting 1,852 Smith students to agree to activate a device that automatically shuts down their computer monitors when not in use. The campaign was part of the Million Monitor Pledge Drive, a national campaign by the Environmental Protection Agency projected to save $30 million.

Smith won a contest with Amherst and Mount Holyoke colleges seeking to get as many students as possible to sign pledges to participate in the energy-saving program. As a result, CES will receive an award of 350,000 kilowatt-hours worth of Renewable Energy Certificates, which can purchase zero-emissions electricity generated by wind power. —ESW


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