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“Green your scene”


2 (of 6) Energy

The third goal that the University aims to achieve is to be 20% more energy efficient by 2025. So far, we have seen that a reduction in items sent to landfill also reduces the amount of energy used to produce a new item. If we reduce the energy used to produce a new item then we are using energy more efficiently. This is the cross-over that we talked about earlier: by doing one thing, affects other things. The University is also trying other ways to become more energy efficient. For example:

  • Last one out – On average, lights are left on 21% of the time in shared rooms across the University campus when no one is using those spaces. If somebody is the last person to leave then they should check that lights, computers and other devices are all turned off.

  • Use daylight – People and students are asked to re-arrange their work or study space to make use of natural light. This also means making sure that windows are kept clean and blinds or curtains are open. Research shows that people are more productive and learn better in naturally lit environments.

  • Computer – Many people need to know that their computer’s screen saver does NOT save any electricity. Staff and students are encouraged to ask their IT person what energy saving mode is best for their computer.

  • Heater – It is recommended to avoid turning up a heater to full when you arrive at work. A gradual heat saves energy and prevents overheating the room. Timers for heaters can help to heat up the room gradually before you enter. Placing heaters in the centre of a room, away from obstructions, or away from windows, helps to prevent heat being quickly lost.

  • Stuffy room? – It is always a good idea to circulate the air in rooms by opening the windows for a couple of minutes every hour; especially, when you are about to leave. The weather often changes, especially in Dunedin where it is not uncommon for it to start sunny in the morning, cloud over and then snow in the afternoon, then to clear up and be sunny again at the end of the day. Therefore, check the day’s weather to know if it is a good idea to turn the heaters on, or not. Other more typical days are that it is cold in the morning, but gets warmer throughout the day.

Questions, please write your answers in the comment section*:

  1. Complete the sentence: “By doing one thing……..?
  2. What percentage of time are lights left on when there is nobody in the room?
  3. What can you do to increase natural light in areas?
  4. Does a computer’s screen save actually save electricity?
  5. What should you do to prevent heat quickly being lost from the room?
  6. How long should you leave a room open every hour?

*You will find the answers to these questions on the next step.

3 (of 6) Transport

Our University is driven to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020.

There are various incentives, or things we can do to make it easier to travel more sustainably. For example, there are staff discounts to buy e-bikes, or to get bicycles converted to e-bikes. If many people decide to travel by bicycle, or bus then it will mean less traffic congestion and a reduction in carbon emissions. The University is aiming to make e-bike commuting so attractive, or worthwhile, that 3% of staff will be doing it by the end of 2023. At the moment, there are about 4000 staff, so 3% will mean 120 staff will be commuting sustainably to work.

It is all very well to offer people incentives to purchase an e-bike, but it is also necessary to cater for, or look after people when they have e-bikes. For example, there needs to be plenty of e-bike parks. These e-bike parks need to be easy and convenient to use and get to. E-bike parks are also called e-bike “hubs.” These hubs are places which offer free charging. The hubs are also attached with security lights and cameras to make them safe at any time of the day. Some of the hubs come with a drinking fountain next to a new garden growing mint and other herbs that can even flavour the water! E-bikes do not only cut down carbon emissions, but greatly increases health. Riding everyday improves your respiratory system and gives you more energy to work and study. It is sometimes more convenient to ride, cheaper than a car, and you can park closer to where you want to go.

Buses are another way to commute around town. The incentives to use buses are increasing. Buses are seen as cheap, affordable ways to move lots of people at the same time. There are now electronic smart cards, which means that it takes less time to get on, or off the bus. This makes riding the bus more convenient and safer because cash is not used.

Many people are now asking why people need to use air transport to go to meetings or travel great distances. We should be looking for alternative ways to make and maintain these contacts, such as e-conferencing. There are now many spaces that offer e-conferencing for free, as an incentive to travel less. E-conferencing also saves time and money.

1. purchase 2. incentive
*Note: this vocabulary has been filtered through the Academic Word List from sublist 1 – up to and including sublist 5. Therefore, this course is designed to fit Intermediate Level English language learning students and above
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English Language Learning Through Sustainability

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