Tech community shares concerns for conserving energy

February 18, 2009

by Eboni Jaggers

We have seen it on television and heard about it on the radio; it is a phenomenon that has taken over the world.

Going green has developed into more than just a trendy fad; it is a way of life.

A community forum held Feb. 10 at the Enterprise Center explored how the Ruston and Tech community can effectively utilize energy and access local resources by jumping on the green bandwagon.

Kathy Wyatt, director of the technology and business center, a sponsor for the forum, said she believes there are a number of ways Tech students can conserve energy to ensure a better tomorrow.

“Students can walk around campus rather than drive,” she said. “Even the way [students] eat can conserve [energy].”

She said eating local fresh foods can also make the difference.

“The Tech Farm store offers wonderful dairy and meat products,” she said.

“The products aren’t shipped from California but grown right here locally.”

Wyatt said she also believes unnecessary trips to neighboring towns and cities could be avoided if campus services were adequately used.

“If [we] would just take advantage of all the entertainment offered on campus like the intramural center, Union Board activities and athletic events then [we] wouldn’t have to travel to Monroe or Shreveport for recreation,” she said.

Aaron Lugby, an associate professor of agricultural business, said he also believes Tech students can ensure their future in the job market by acting now.

Lugby said students should consider working with green businesses because of their potential to create a larger job market for Tech graduates in the northern Louisiana area.

“Students should think about what they can do with their degrees as far as green jobs are concerned,” he said.

“It is a new avenue of innovation; they need to know that there are alternative possibilities out there.”

Lugby said green businesses may possibly open up many doors for job opportunities, but the effort would not be overnight.

He said because of the extra costs it takes to operate a green company many business owners are reluctant to make the big switch over to going green. With fuel costs at an all-time low, it is a challenge for green companies to compete.

Raymond Baez, a senior electrical engineering technology major, said one issue he believes should be addressed is lighting in condemned buildings.

He said on multiple occasions he has noticed power on in Caruther’s Hall, a dormitory facility that has been condemned for years.

“For Tech to become a leader of conservation, [the university] has to lead by example,” he said. “Turning off power to condemned buildings would be a start.”

Baez also said students can do their part as well to contribute to the conservation movement.

He said he tries to use the least amount of electricity possible on a daily basis.

“I unplug chargers and turn off lights to my room when I leave to go to class,” he said.

Baez said it is not just the university’s responsibility to recognize the need for conservation, but the students as well.

“The little things students can do now are to look for jobs then try to better the area they are in,” he said. “Our world can only get better if we try and work at it.”