The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

EcoRooms Initiative combines energy consciousness and business

For some of us, Guilford’s green initiative remains invisible. Others of us can point to the visible things around campus — the solar panels, the compost bins, the new light bulbs, the farm — that stimulate pride in our school’s energy initiative. But some students work to make our school’s energy awareness into a part of the individual student’s consciousness. They mold thought into action and they try to motivate and educate others.

This is what Alexis Goldman has done since joining the Guilford College Energy Team.
For Goldman, energy efficiency remained largely invisible for her first two years at Guilford. Then she saw Bill Clinton speak at the Bryan Series in 2010. His emphasis on combining business with energy efficiency and awareness sparked Goldman to add an environmental studies major to her business management major.

That fall, Goldman became an integral part of the Guilford College Energy Team. Goldman’s project, the ECORoom Initiatiative, began with Vice President for Administration Jonathan Varnell writing a grant proposal to the N.C. State Energy Office and ultimately resulted in on-campus energy jobs and Goldman’s paid internship.

“I teach people to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle,” said Goldman. “I find students to sign up and volunteer and do an energy audit (of their dorm room), which shows the student how much energy, carbon, and money they can save.”

The room audit requires no action by the room’s occupants. It is simply an information session in which Goldman describes changes the room’s occupants could make, from adjusting room temperature to using more energy-efficient light bulbs. For the more dedicated students, Goldman suggests giving up those easily accessible late-night snacks by removing the energy-eating mini-fridge. So far, she has audited 94 rooms and hopes to complete 120 by the end of this semester.

During her follow-up audits, Goldman has seen some students make significant changes to their energy usage patterns, and the Guilford College Energy Team noticed the changes as well. The internship and grant program will be continued next year after Goldman graduates in May. The Energy Team is looking for a student to take on the five-hour-a-week paid internship.

With an increase in energy efficiency and the creation of a permanent on-campus job, Goldman has fully embodied her double majors in environmental studies and business management. Her impact extends beyond Guilford, though. Goldman has been invited to and will attend the fifth Clinton Global Initiative University from March 30 to April 1 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Clinton’s program has become an annual event covered by major news outlets, with past attendees including Richard Branson and Warren Buffet. Goldman is one of a select group of college students chosen to attend to this year’s program, where they will cooperate with the initiative’s leaders to expand their knowledge of how to positively impact global energy issues while stimulating economic growth. After the initiative, Goldman hopes to add to what she has already improved at Guilford before taking these lessons with her into work beyond Guilford.

Goldman’s message is that everyone can be a little more sustainable, even at Guilford.

“Even if you think you are energy conscious, an audit can’t hurt,” said Goldman. “We can’t truly be a sustainable campus without the involvement of our members; that is why I educate the students, to give them the tools they need to make changes on their own.”
Interested in the EcoRooms Inititiative or the Guilford College Energy Team internship? Contact Alexis Goldman at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *