Inspiring Downstream Effects Active Citizenship at Tufts

One of our goals in developing the personal action initiatives on campus is that all members of the university community will carry the lessons with them into other communities. For faculty and staff, we hope that learning about compact fluorescent bulbs and shutting down their computers at work will lead to greater learning and action that will in turn influence the decisions they make at home, as members of town government, through their activities in social service organizations, and in...

Social Marketing

Social marketing uses insights from social psychology and the techniques of commercial marketing to influence behaviors. As we have noted, environmentalists often assume that if people understand the problem, they will take appropriate action. Over the last twenty years, research has indicated that even when people understand the problem, they will not necessarily exhibit environmentally sound behaviors.16 The discrepancy between environmental values and action is commonly referred to as the...

Personal Responsibility

There is an element of personal action for climate change and energy efficiency that includes personal responsibility and awareness. This is hard to teach (and perhaps harder to learn). In many ways the climate change problem and our inability to come to grips with it is a tragedy of the commons a failure to consider how our individual actions have benefits or costs for the community. Personal responsibility for climate change action on campus might include Tolerance for indoor temperatures...

Operate Windows Thoughtfully

An open window is a wonderful addition to almost any room. However, in a conditioned room or building (those with heat or cooling), an open window can increase the demand for heat or air-conditioning. Building occupants need to be trained to shut windows when they do not need to be open and to understand how an open window affects others. For example, a window opened to cool an overheated office or classroom may eventually supply the nearby thermostat with that same cool air, calling for more...

Vacation Shutdowns

Vacations, particularly those around the midsemester break, are times when dedicated efforts to shut things off and turn temperatures back can pay off. At Tufts the last day of exams for the fall semester in a recent year was December 20, and spring classes started on January 20. If students had early exams or papers, they were away for more than four weeks. The Tufts Climate Initiative and the energy manager developed a plan to target student rooms for an intense shutdown. Prior to our...

Lighting and Behavior Change

TCI focuses on task and chandelier lighting as a way to increase awareness of energy efficiency and demonstrate alternative technology. We give away compact fluorescent lightbulbs, free for on-campus use. Whenever possible, we do charge for them asking that people provide us with their old incandescent lightbulb. This program has distributed over 3,000 bulbs, including a retrofit of all lamps in the president's office. This lighting effort is part of a more comprehensive retrofit of the...

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Cool the Climate Power

Not only has the number of electronic devices on campus increased, so have their hours of use. At Tufts we began addressing the use of electronics by creating simple messages. As part of this effort, we spent a great deal of time debunking the myths of computer and light shutdowns and we linked the messages to climate change. See box 10.2 for computer myths. These are modest programs however, they are concrete actions that may start to make the connections for people, even if they do not yield...

Box

Banned in Boston (and many other places) Halogen lamps have been banned on most campuses. This was originally done for safety because of the fire risk several fires occurred when posters or curtains touched the hot lamps and were ignited. The halogen lamps also use massive amounts of electricity (300-600 watts) and generate so much heat that additional building conditioning is required. Personal air conditioners are banned on most campuses. Most universities do not give a reason, but it...

Plug Loads

Plug loads involve the electricity used by equipment installed and operated by building occupants. In a typical campus room, students have a storehouse of electrical appliances and devices, including desk lamps, electric razors, and lighted makeup mirrors. According to a March 2003 survey by Miami University, the average freshman takes eighteen appliances to campus.12 Table 10.2 shows some of these devices along with the amount of electricity they require. We mentioned plug loads earlier...

Student Choices

In fall 1999, a survey was conducted as part of an undergraduate political science class at Tufts. In a course on survey design and analysis, students were asked to take a representative sample of undergraduates, and to pose questions related to global citizenship and the environment (n 288). Of the respondents, 74 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement The US government should take an active role in the global effort to curb the problem of rapid climate change. And 67 percent...

Staff and Faculty Choices

We believe that there is a link between peoples' choices at home and those at work. TCI holds seminars for faculty and staff on saving energy at home. In the publicity for these events, we emphasize that many energy-saving measures can also save money. On a campus where sessions of this type are being introduced for the first time, it would be very interesting to launch this in the form of an experiment. This could be done by an individual faculty member or in conjunction with a course. Through...

Table

Relative groupings of personal actions and emission impacts Use efficient heating, lighting, and cooling in living space Vote for individuals and policies that will make emission reductions a priority Use fuel-efficient vehicle if driving is necessary Minimize air travel for work and vacation Use energy-efficient appliances Use energy-saving settings on computer Use rechargeable batteries and solar charger for portable music devices Recycle as much as possible, and recycle all aluminum Live...

The Nature of Personal Choices

In the course of our daily activities, we make several choices that have climate change implications. Some decisions have a great deal more impact than others, and they vary in relevance to different demographic groups. Wealth may be a factor in an individual's emission profile. For example, the residential transportation energy consumption survey available from the Department of Energy shows that higher income is correlated with more vehicle miles traveled.9 Emissions from personal travel...

Knowledge Does not Equal Action

Campaigns conducted by environmental activists often assume that education is essential to behavior change. This assumption is inherently attractive for those of us at academic institutions however, there is compelling evidence that a great deal more than understanding is needed to inspire people to change their habits. Recently we convened a group of climate change professionals at Tufts, and asked them whether their personal emissions from their own activities were greater than or less than...

Inspire Understanding of Climate Systems Then Provide Facts about Global Warming

Scientific research organizations, intergovernmental agencies, and governments are developing materials that illustrate the climate system and provide facts about climate change. Many are available on the Internet and reflect different levels of complexity for diverse audiences. Just a few of these resources include the United Nations, whose UNEP GRID-Arendal website includes slides and an interactive model 6 the Hadley Centre 7 and the Environmental Protection Agency.8 Teaching modules related...

The Cost of Misconceptions

Many approaches can be used to calculate the cost of misconceptions related to global warming. For example, it is possible to estimate the cost of one or many events related to extreme weather, an approach that has inspired the insurance industry to advocate for prompt climate action. In a report to Congress weeks after Hurricane Katrina, the Congressional Research Service estimated the private-insurer losses at 40 to 60 billion, making Hurricane Katrina the costliest single event in U.S....

Knowledge and Action

Studies indicate that the general understanding of climate change is so inaccurate that even if people were motivated to change behaviors, they would not know what actions to take. In 2001, Steven Brechin found that only 15 percent of Americans surveyed correctly identified fossil-fuel burning as the primary cause of climate change.1 More recently, John D. Sterman and Linda Booth Sweeney created a series of tasks to explore peoples' intuitive understanding of climate change. Focusing on...

Personal Action Initiatives

Personal decisions are vitally important to the climate action effort because they cumulatively account for a significant and growing portion of electricity use on a residential campus. Equally important, a focus on personal action allows us to expand the educational reach of our commitment to reducing greenhouse gases. Our experience and that of others who have undertaken a wide range of comparable efforts suggests that motivating individuals to make choices in favor of the environment is not...

Summary

A campuswide plan for climate action is extremely important however, it is only one element in a complex system of plans and policies that address decisions related to heat-trapping gas emissions on a college or university campus. The climate action program can be successful if it is planned carefully, evaluated frequently, modified to respond to insights about what is or is not working, and adapted to changed circumstances both on campus and in the larger community. Taking effective climate...

Other Policies with Climate Implications

There are many other policy areas that can link university operations and decision making to climate change action. In addition to achieving energy efficiency and achieving cost savings, these policies are also opportunities to underscore the university's commitment to the issues. Purchasing and contract policies are opportunities to specify efficiency since many energy-using machines are available with a range of efficiency. These include copy machines, printers, computers, refrigerators,...

Building Use and Performance Policies

Policies are important instruments for affecting decisions in the college community however, the extent to which policies are effective or consistent with the institution's culture varies widely. Because academia often honors and rewards independent thinking and creativity, policies that mandate equipment or behavior may be few and countercultural, although practices vary across institutions. Exceptions occur when legal requirements dictate action (such as in the handling and disposal of...

Space Utilization and Scheduling Policies

The least expensive way to gain additional classroom and meeting spaces is to adjust the class schedule so that building spaces are used for the maximum number of hours. Using spaces that already exist rather than building new buildings is a climate-friendly strategy as well. Space utilization rates (the percent of time a space is used) at colleges and universities vary widely, and in some institutions with lower rates, there may be opportunities to increase available space by changing how...

Academic Calendar

In response to the energy crisis of the 1970s, many colleges and universities modified their academic schedules. In the Northeast, a common strategy was to schedule a longer break in the winter between the fall and spring semesters. Over break, buildings such as student residences and classrooms could be heated to a minimum (to prevent freezing pipes) in the December-January period. This approach was designed to save money by reducing demand during a period when campus energy use is typically...

Using Endowment Funds to Create an Energy Account That Is Paid Back from Savings

Another potential investment opportunity for a portion of the university's endowment money may be in campus efficiency upgrades. While this idea may be new to investment officials, operations specialists have known for years that many efficiency projects can offer rates of return that are much better than the typical investment portfolio. Joe Romm's work suggests that in American businesses, many projects can have a 3.1-year payback.22 While university buildings may have somewhat slower payback...

Investment Planning for Colleges and Universities

A great deal of interest surrounds college and university investments as endowments have waxed and waned with the U.S. stock market, and as members of the university community periodically raise concerns about the ethics and practices of companies in which institutions hold shares. Climate change creates both vulnerability and opportunities for institutional investors, and careful planning can increase the likelihood of positive outcomes. As we mentioned in chapter 5, a 2002 report from CERES...

Financial Planning

Financial planning can create opportunities to put university resources to work in numerous ways that can have emission reduction benefits. Because the allocation of budgets generally reflects priorities, financial plans can link operating and construction costs, consider life-cycle costs, and link budgets across departments. Each of these measures can help to create incentives for energy conservation and give priority to energy-related projects in a range of departments. University advancement...

Lighting

Lighting can account for anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of a building's total energy use, so it is important to concentrate on efficiency through out campus operations.2 We know from research and personal experience that human beings are very responsive to different types of light. Artful lighting in a theater production can transform the audience's experience, and insufficient daylight is associated with seasonal affective disorder. Lighting can change the tone of a room dining by candlelight...

Increased Use of Alternative Fuels or Green Power

The electric industry, which remained basically unchanged for a century, has undergone something of a revolution in the past decade. Many states have now deregulated their electric industries. What this means for colleges and universities or other purchasers of electricity is that there is now a choice of electric generators. With this choice, a college or university may now purchase some or all of its electricity from renewable sources. Renewable energy offers low or no climate-altering...

Green Power and Alternative Fuels

Green power is electricity generated from fuels that do not deplete the earth's resources. Solar and wind energy are the most commonly thought of green power or renewable-energy sources, but tidal energy and hydropower are other examples of electricity-generating sources. Universities may opt to purchase green power (see chapter 8) or to generate power on campus. On-site generation may be central (see the discussion later in this chapter) or distributed (located where or near where it will be...

Efficiency

Climate change action in facilities must include energy efficiency using less energy to deliver the same level of service. This includes using less electricity in building systems using less electricity in systems such as chillers, motors, fans, laboratory hoods, and lighting improving the efficiency of building heating and cooling systems and reducing the energy needed to heat hot water and tightening the building envelope (walls, windows, doors, roof) as well as reducing penetrations of the...

University Purchasing

Universities are consumers, and like all consumers, their purchasing decisions can underscore their priorities. University purchasing decisions offer opportunities to have vendors, contractors, and service providers improve their practices on the university's behalf. Many campus sus-tainability programs have benefited from projects that involve the purchasing department and the university's purchasing power in efforts to increase recycling, increase the purchase of recycled content of...

Construction

Construction of the building according to the plans is perhaps the most complex step. In large and small buildings there are inevitably problems. However, in good buildings and collaborative processes, these problems are solved effectively and efficiently. Depending on the campus culture, community awareness about a new building may be low until construction begins. At that time, there can sometimes be a flurry of interest in affecting changes in the design as students and faculty visualize the...

Finding Energy Saving Opportunities

In some buildings or sections of buildings there may be obvious signs of waste. Simple observations may tell you that the lights are on around the clock or that windows are open in the middle of a winter freeze. Conversations with building users may also tell you that the water is always too hot or that the occupants need to supplement heating or cooling with space heaters or window air conditioners. In many cases, however, comprehensive energy assessments conducted by a trained mechanical and...

Climate Change Education within Academic Disciplines

For courses taught by a single faculty member, it may be quite straightforward to introduce climate change in the classroom with the goal of raising student awareness. Box 11.1 has an assignment that can be adopted for several disciplines. We use it in a course on climate change. But there are more subtle ways to introduce global warming-related material. For example, in a quantitative methods class, a decision can be made to have students learn methods using data sets related to climate...

Climate Change as Interdisciplinary Study

Having mentioned several traditional academic disciplines, it is important to note that most of the climate change efforts at Tufts are interdisciplinary at some level. Although Tufts values and nurtures interdisciplinary work, it has to be acknowledged that a variety of challenges remain. Some courses with climate change content are cross-listed in more than one school or department. One course is cross-listed in three schools Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and Law and Diplomacy . This offers...

Educational Planning

There are several ways that educational planning can be used to influence the campus emission profile, many of which are unique to each college. For institutions that periodically select overarching themes for the community, climate change is a choice that may motivate faculty to modify course offerings, students to change decisions on turning off their computers, and administrators and staff to reevaluate vulnerability of campus infrastructure. For instance, on campuses with an endowed speaker...

TCI as an Internal Advocate

TCI plays the important role of advocating for climate change issues within the university. Staff and faculty associated with TCI act as advocates in university decisions that affect climate-altering gas emissions, and these decisions take place at many levels in the organization. When TCI was first formed, we set the stage for advocacy efforts by meeting with as many key decision makers as possible. Through this effort, it was possible to introduce TCI and to learn, at an operational level,...

Buildings and Climate Change Action

College and university climate-altering gas emissions result largely from the burning of fossil fuels for heat, hot water, and the generation of electricity. Therefore action for climate change is most effective if addressed in campus facilities including buildings, grounds, central heating and power facilities, water heating, and other building functions. Climate change action will encompass all aspects of university facilities campus planning, including facility and infrastructure planning...

Embrace Systems Thinking

Colleges and universities are complex institutions that have many complex systems operating within them. Some of the systems that are of greatest importance in reducing carbon dioxide emissions include energy generation, distribution, and consumption transportation and buildings. Other heat-trapping gases are associated with coolants, landscaping and agriculture, waste disposal, and use of specialty chemicals. Some of the decision-making systems that influence these important physical systems...

Interdisciplinary Solutions

There are numerous energy solutions that are outside of the energy professional's traditional realm. Climate change activists can be instrumental in bringing these solutions to the table and finding their best applications. Examples include planting landscape trees to provide shading to reduce cooling loads, changing new-building orientation to maximize or minimize a solar exposure and or natural daylight, water conservation to decrease water-heating demand, solar and other alternative fuels,...

Energy Simulation

Creating a mathematical model of how a building will use energy can be a very effective tool for making decisions. However, in order to provide maximum benefit, the model, even in its simplest form, needs to be up and running during the schematic design phase of a building project. Models are decision-making tools that allow you to see the effects and interconnections among various building components and to compare relative merits of choices. While they have a margin of error in predicting...

Large Scale Projects

Large-scale projects such as replacing or upgrading the central heating plant or constructing a high-performance building to replace an existing structure will make an appreciable difference in campus emissions but will require careful planning, long time scales, and both capital and human resources. Most large-scale projects that create opportunities for significant emission reductions will be undertaken because the projects address multiple priorities. For example, new space for life sciences...

Linking Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

While master plans should create strategies for adapting to the effects of climate change, they are also central to implementing the actions to reduce emissions as well as to finding ways to connect both adaptation and mitigation. For example, an increased reliance on distributed power or on-site generation from combined heat and power see chapter 6 , renewable energy, or alternative fuels may decrease heat-trapping gas emissions and make the university less vulnerable to power outages or storm...