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Opinion | Miami's effort to 'go green' involves small steps for students

By Editorial Board
On February 4, 2013

Miami University has reached a goal of reducing energy use by 20 percent by 2014, after the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 251 in 2004, which required that all universities reduce their energy use.

This year, Miami's energy consumption is $23.4 million or one trillion btus, as opposed to $29 million in 2009.

The university expects the Armstrong Student Center and new residence halls to use 35 percent less energy than the Shriver Center. In 2011, Elliot and Stoddard residence halls were switched from coal-fired steam heat to geothermal heating and cooling.

The Miami Student editorial board commends the university on its efforts to reduce energy and begin using "green" or sustainable resources.

These efforts play into the much larger role of combating climate change and protecting our environment.

Over the recent years, we have seen, experienced or heard about immense amounts of flooding, wildfires, droughts and an increase of extreme weather in general.

Although it is argued that these events are not directly related to increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, science has shown there has been a higher amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, typically not caused naturally.

Climate change and what can be done need to be addressed at the international and local levels, but different places will come to different solutions of sustainable energy.

At Miami we can focus on what can be done here and now.

People may believe that there is no point in trying to help the environment.

Although recycling one water bottle won't save the earth immediately, we need to put aside these notions and try.

There are many small actions that when combined in a group of people, can make a noticeable difference.

Trying to help the earth and reduce our carbon footprint is not a hopeless cause, as there is evidence of past small actions building up and improving our environment.

As overwhelming as the issue of climate change may be, the problem cannot be ignored.

Just as each individual is accountable for his or her actions in the fight against global climate change, Miami University has recognized its own accountability by making great strides in its sustainability efforts. So try to "go green," and not just for Green Beer Day.

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