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EVS 300


Environmental Science and Policy


The United States accounts for 5% of the world’s population yet use roughly 30% of the energy generated worldwide (Baird 2003). At Smith College, energy consumption in student residences creates a financial drain through the excessive use of electricity. This research project aims to discover how much energy is being used and what solutions can be implemented to reduce energy consumption across campus. A poll taken of electrical appliances owned by Smith students show that students do not employ environmentally conscious practices in their everyday routine. If students’ understanding of environmental awareness was heightened and conservation practices put to use, Smith College could save up to $1,469,076 dollars annually in electricity bills. Improving environmental awareness at Smith can be accomplished by the creation of “green” buildings, investment in alternative sources of energy and creating partnerships with environmental organizations such as the Million Solar Roof Initiative. To heighten student awareness Smith needs to take an active role in applying environmentally friendly practices to campus buildings, in addition to taking on a participatorier role in the environment and in society at large.


© 2004 Bethany Burgee