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Staying environmentally friendly on a large site

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­­Going green is beneficial for everyone. Not only does the environment get a break, but organisations can save on energy costs, build their reputations, and receive tax incentives. However, larger sites, such as colleges, will have more trouble staying green because a bigger campus means greater energy requirements. That doesn’t mean your efforts would be in vain, though. Here are some tips on staying environmentally friendly even if you’re operating from a large site.

Recycled paper 

The first step towards being environmentally friendly is to take recycling as the rule, rather than the exception. Large businesses use a lot of paper and cardboard; whether it’s from printers or packaging, an entire tree’s worth is consumed in no time. That’s why you should start recycling if you aren’t already. For every tonne of recycled paper, you can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. That comes to around 27 kilograms less air pollution. 

It’s not just about recycling your paper, either, but also making sure the paper you use is recycled. Of course, ideally, you would go as paper-free as possible by using an online portal and web host. However, these come with their own environmental issues.

Investigate green web hosting

At least 50% of the world uses the internet. Compare that to less than 0.5% of the population 20 years ago, and the magnitude of growth becomes clearer. But with more internet usage and faster data transfer comes the need to store the data, and that’s where data centres come in. Data centres host the websites and their content from around the world, and the demand for data means there are now so many that they have had a serious impact on the environment. The power needs of these data centres – mostly used to keep the databases at a safe temperature – have become one of the world’s greatest polluters.

If you’re looking to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint, but wondering how you can make a difference with such a large campus, then green web hosting could be what you’re looking for. Sites like Eco Web Hosting can help you reduce your website’s carbon footprint without too much interference. Just make sure everyone on your campus is aware of the change because it requires migrating all your website data to a new server, which – while generally very safe – still has a risk associated with it.

Power-saving techniques

One of the first steps to saving energy when you are on a large site should be the same step you would take on a small site or even a home – introducing power-saving practices to the buildings. These can be very simple, such as turning lights off when not in use or closing curtains at night, or they can be disruptive but effective, like changing all the bulbs to energy saving fluorescent lamps and double glazing your windows. We wrote about simple energy-saving techniques in our blog.

Large campuses in particular use up a lot of power, with things like vending machines and computer rooms. These can be programmed to turn off or sleep when not in use. Don’t forget that reducing your carbon footprint isn’t just about reducing energy consumption; when it comes to being green, one of the biggest advantages large campuses have over small ones is that they have the land to plant trees and plants that help reduce carbon emissions. Do your buildings have any flat roofs? They could be the perfect place for a roof garden. A layer of soil and grass actually works great as rooftop insulation, as well.

Get an energy audit

If you’re not sure where all your energy is going on your campus, an energy audit will give you clarity. An energy audit assesses your energy usage and analyses where the most energy is being used, where it is wasted, and can even suggest areas where energy could be reduced. Once you have identified where the most energy is being consumed, you can use that information as a starting point to begin reducing energy usage.

Zenergi offers energy audits for your campus so you can properly assess where the most energy is being consumed on the premises. Speak to us for more details!

 

There are many ways you can help reduce energy, but these are great places to start. Being environmentally friendly isn’t just beneficial to our increasingly fragile planet, but will also reduce operational costs and develop a positive reputation for your school or college. If you’d like to know more about your energy usage or if you could be saving money on your bill, let us know via our contact page. No matter the size of your school or college, Zenergi is perfectly equipped to help.