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Student officers leading the way on energy savings

Friday 21 March 2014 Live Greener

Officers are leading students in saving energy across Wales, in our biggest switch-off event ever.

With Blackout bringing together hundreds of volunteers at institutions across Wales, it’s no surprise that student officers love what the event can do for engagement across campus – as well as promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.

“Whilst great gains have been made in the efficiency of devices and systems, we are living in an increasingly technological world, yet we know that natural resources are running out”, says Antony Butcher, president of Bangor Students’ Union.

“We had a phenomenal number of students sign up – we actually met our planned maximum number of student volunteers within two days of opening, and in the end had to close the online form as there were just too many people applying”

We know that students across the UK want to take action on sustainability, and with Live Greener, we’ve been able to embed good environmental practice across higher education throughout Wales.

Blackout is the biggest switch-off event of its kind, and hundreds of students have come forwards to turn off unnecessary appliances for the weekend.

“This is a new and exciting opportunity for the students’ union”, says Swansea University Students’ Union environment officer Simon Wilde. “We've done loads of things like this trying to engage students, from getting them involved in writing our polices to talks and even running our allotment patch. So there is definitely demand and we will be doing even more in the future”

With this appetite for greening across the student movement growing and growing, tonight’s Blackout event is a great demonstration of the impact which students can make when they act together. We expect to see savings of thousands of pounds, and tonnes of carbon stopped from entering our atmosphere.

Perhaps even more important is the lasting and long term attitude changes and awareness raising which an event like Blackout can create.

“The aim is not just to save energy on the night, but to highlight the amount of wastage which takes place, changing behaviours so that everyone on campus is ensuring we only use what we need” Antony tells us. Hundreds of students across Wales tonight clearly agree.