Think Big , Live Green is a university-wide sustainability engagement campaign encouraging students, faculty, and staff to make thoughtful decisions about resources that reduce Cornell’s environmental footprint and build healthier communities. Each component of the campaign is designed to promote key sustainable actions that help achieve Cornell’s climate neutrality goals and support diverse, inclusive environments.
Changes in the day-to-day behaviors of the campus community in terms of how individuals use resources can avoid costs, and improve efficiencies and community wellbeing. To foster such behavior changes, sustainability engagement is needed.
Sustainability engagement has been included in the Climate Action Plan since its inception. Previous outreach efforts were largely ad hoc: this Key Action seeks to formalize and improve on existing efforts, quantify the energy savings, and expand the effort across campus.
Cornell’s new budget model provides a compelling incentive for colleges and units to reduce their energy consumption and increase cost-saving measures. In July 2013, the University transitioned from centralized utilities to a budget model in which each college/unit is responsible for its own utilities.
Think Big, Live Green employs multiple complementary initiatives to educate users and build a culture of conservation at Cornell. Users are provided with monthly real-time energy use and cost data, as well as best practices for which are customized to that user’s particular work place, whether it be a classroom, office, lab, residence hall, kitchen, etc. Peer educators, or “Green Ambassadors,” provide education, leadership development, social marketing, resources, and oversight of these initiatives.
When fully implemented, the Think Big, Live Green campaign aims to reduce campus electric use by 1% each year, equivalent to 7.2MWh and $650,000 per year.
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