USU aiming to become completely ‘carbon neutral’

The term “alternative energy” typically brings to mind solar panels and hybrid cars. “Energy efficiency” may conjure thoughts of spiral light bulbs, while “climate change” might be associated with abstract notions of melting polar ice caps or the ozone layer. All those things play a part in global and local efforts to reduce negative human impacts on Earth.At USU, efforts from all facets of the university are working together to enact the President’s Climate Initiative, a 2007 commitment to eventually make USU completely carbon-neutral. Jeff Broadbent, associate vice president for Research and chair on a committee specifically geared at sustainability, said many research projects are looking for ways to reduce USU’s carbon footprint.Joined by student and faculty members of the Sustainability Council, the committee is working toward energy efficiency with Facilities, faculty and administrators to integrate concepts of sustainability into parts of the university’s curriculum as well as harnessing research capabilities throughout the university, such as USTAR research teams, toward sustainability, Broadbent said.”We’re talking about lifestyle changes, and education has to be part of that,” Broadbent said.Logan City’s Emily Malik, conservation coordinator in the environmental department, said conserving energy is the first step toward energy efficiency. The city offers incentives to residents and businesses that incorporate solar power, energy-efficient appliances or commercial lighting, she said.Logan uses coal, natural gas, small and large hydropower and wind to supply the city with power, but Malik said “less of any kind of power you use is more power you have.”

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