At Oberlin College, students don't just talk about being green.
The college has a whole building dedicated to producing solar energy, recycling water and conserving electricity.
The Adam Joseph Lewis building at Oberlin College serves as a laboratory for students.
The college also has a wastewater treatment system by monitoring plants that provide a root system which bacteria, algae and microorganisms live on. The hope is for the treated wastewater to be recycled through the buildings' toilets in an effort to conserve water.
Professor John Peterson, the director of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College said, "the goal is to educate the students beyond the classroom to help empower them to be better stewards of the environment."
The wall of south-facing windows sheds light into the classrooms and offices and there are sensors to allow just the right amount of light to be used. The building actually produces more electricity than it uses so some of the electricity is stored and saved for later.
And the college recently received a large grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund to encourage activities to conserve resources. One of the projects was to create a campus resource monitoring system to monitor electricity use in most of the dorms.
With the help of students, glowing orbs were developed to show students how much energy they are using on a real time basis. The concept is simple. Green is good and red is bad.
Students like Adam Hull, who helped develop the orbs, said students are responding by turning off the lights when they leave the rooms, sharing appliances and taking shorter showers.
To encourage students, Peterson said they run energy competitions between the dorms to see who can reduce their resources the most. The most winning dorms have reduced their consumption up to 56 percent.
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