Wednesday, January 31 marked the second time this year that Colgate sponsored a free screening of Al Gore’s controversial documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” but the event was not as environmentally friendly as it could have been.
The makers of the film, which circles around Gore’s effort to expose the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming, have teamed up with NativeEnergy, a Native American energy company, to make 578 campus screenings of the film carbon neutral events. However, Colgate was not one of these campuses.
Screening a film uses energy, largely generated by the burning of fossil fuels, a process which emits carbon, ultimately resulting in the warming of the earth’s temperature and atmosphere.In an effort to combat this global warming, NativeEnergy has helped to build renewable energy projects that offset the fossil-based energy used by every campus screening of the film, making these “carbon neutral” events.
“This is the largest mobilization in the history of the youth global warming movement,” NativeEnergy President & CEO Tom Boucher said. “Students are demanding immediate action to fight the climate crisis.”
In response to increasing student interest, NativeEnergy has recently announced its new “Dorm Offsets” program for college students who wish to take action and fight against their own carbon emissions. With dorm room energy use at an all-time high, this new campaign presents an easy and cost-effective way for undergraduates to offset their own carbon outputs. For a small fee, students can offset an estimated three tons (6,000 pounds) of carbon dioxide emissions. The money supports projects to help build renewable energy products such as wind farms and methane reduction initiatives.
Students can purchase the “Dorm Offsets” plan in three-dollar monthly payments or $36 annually on the website www.NativeEnergy.com. Purchasers also get the option to choose the specific projects that their monetary contributions will benefit. Contributors can choose to have their donations allocated entirely to wind farms or methane reduction projects, or split equally between the two.
Director of Residential Life Jennifer Adams was excited to learn about “Dorm Offsets,” which she sees as a way to promote environmentally conscious living within the Colgate community.
I had never heard of this program before, but it is something worth pursuing,” Adams said, “I will definitely look into it in the future.”
Aside from the payment plan, there are various other simple ways that Colgate students can effectively cut down on their carbon emissions and do their part to reduce the effects of global warming by being aware of and attempting to cut down on personal energy use. For instance, turning off lights, televisions, computers, and stereos when not in use will reduce one’s carbon dioxide footprint significantly.
Also, many of these same appliances use electricity even when not in use. Students can stop this by directly unplugging electronics or through other means.