The University will join millions of people from around the world in switching off non-essential lighting on Saturday, March 29, from 8pm to 9pm.
Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to encourage people to take action on global warming. This year people in some of the world’s major capital cities, including Copenhagen, Toronto, Chicago, Melbourne, Brisbane and Tel Aviv will join in and switch off.
Southern Cross University Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark said staff and students were being encouraged to turn off all lights, air-conditioners and computers, not only for Earth Hour, but whenever they were not in use.
“We are very pleased to support the Earth Hour initiative, but we are also looking wherever possible to introduce long-term measures to reduce our impact on the environment,” Professor Clark said.
The University has a fleet of electric vehicles which it uses at the Lismore campus and supports recycling and other initiatives which include the collection of waste paper and co-mingled waste.
“Our new campus planned for the Gold Coast will exceed the 4-star Green Star Certified for sustainable development and will use water sensitive urban design, incorporating features such as stormwater irrigation and underground water storage tanks,” he said.
“Our School of Environmental Science and Management also has a strong focus on finding solutions to many of the challenges we are facing. We have developed a Centre for Regional Climate Change Studies which is taking a leading role in this region, and we also have a strong focus on sustainable agriculture and ecotechnology.”
Other initiatives under way across the University include the SCU Environmental Collective at the Lismore campus. This group, made up of students and members of the community, has been promoting local environmental issues and ‘greening’ the University campus.
Current initiatives include bringing recycling to the University colleges, ‘green’ movie nights, a notice board to facilitate carpooling, a University food co-operative, and improving the health of the University’s rainforest stands. The group meets in the student common room in Goodman Plaza every second Tuesday at 5pm.
Southern Cross University students at The Hotel School Sydney, have thrown their support behind Earth Hour and have been hitting the streets to spread the message about this year’s event.
At the Coffs Harbour campus, the three education partners – Southern Cross University, North Coast TAFE and the Coffs Harbour Senior College – have formed an Environmental Coalition to introduce environmentally-friendly initiatives. The campus has become a lead site for the Coffs Harbour City Council for recycling and will use new energy efficient technology in buildings currently being constructed.
For more information on Earth Hour visit www.earthhour.org
Media contact: Brigid Veale Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.