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ULV should consider green energy

With the world seeking ways to be more eco-friendly, the University of La Verne has started initiating things to lessen our impact on the environment.

For example, the Campus Center for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design earned a rating of silver, and the dining hall has gone tray-less.

In addition the Associated Students of the University of La Verne has provided re-usable water bottles to students in hopes of reducing the use of plastic water bottles on campus.

While those have been beneficial in lessening our impact on the environment and moving towards a greener campus, there is so much more that could be done.

Solar panels would save the University money, save energy and make a positive impact on the environment.

When people think of solar panels they think of calculators or future homes but solar panels are a valid invention and could be used on a larger scale.

Solar panels take energy from the sun and convert it in to electricity, loosening a building’s dependence on electricity.

In the United States we get our electricity from oil, coal, gas, hydroelectricity, among other sources, including solar.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 42.3 percent of the city of La Verne’s electricity comes from gas while only 9.4 percent comes from hydroelectricity.

By using solar panels the University could reduce the amount of gas being used in the city to produce electricity, as well as be a trailblazer for the use of solar energy in the city of La Verne and among other local universities.

The White House is making plans to have solar panels installed as well as a solar hot water heater, as a way to lessen their impact on the environment and to motivate Americans to do the same in their home. Federal buildings are also set to run on solar energy.

At first the installation of solar panels may seem a bit pricey, with the cost of solar panels in the neighborhood of $30,000 for the average family home, but it more than pays for itself in the long run.

“Financial incentives are also available to offset the initial costs of installing solar energy systems, including a 30 percent federal tax credit and additional state, local, and utility incentive programs to encourage the deployment of renewable energy,” Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a press release last week.

The University could install solar panels in the Campus Center and the library, and rely on fossil fuel electricity during the morning or the busiest time of operation but switch to solar energy in the evenings and nights.

Solar panels and solar hot water heaters could be installed in the Oaks, or even the future residence halls.

Solar energy fueled by photovoltaic cells would lessen the University’s electricity bill, while the solar hot water heater could lessen the University’s gas bill drastically.

Realistically the University could not solely rely on solar energy, but it could utilize solar energy to save money and help the environment while teaching students environmental responsibility.

“Engineering undergraduates at Seattle University developed a solar panel system that collects enough sunlight to power an energy-efficient home for one year. And the student body at Western Washington University agreed to pay up to $10.50 a quarter to buy renewable electricity – becoming one of the first in the state to go 100 percent green on the main campus,” according to an article by Christine Frey, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer several years ago.

It would be beneficial to the environment and help the University live up to its mission statement of promoting the appreciation and preservation of biodiversity while helping students understand the impact and dependence humans have on the environment.

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