Campus Spotlight: New Student Initiative for a Greener Trinity

Sophomore Vanja Babunski ’18 describes a new student initiative that she and other Trinity students led in order to make Raether Library more environmentally friendly and sustainable. 

The library is the cornerstone of the academic environment at any college. It is the place where students do the majority of their schoolwork, and even at times, socialize. High school counselors urge students to look at the characteristics of a college’s library when deciding between different schools. We, as college students, can all agree on what should be in our libraries: good resources for classes, helpful staff, a well-developed library system website and a positive atmosphere. It is important to be in an environment that supports productivity – we all know how easy it is to get distracted while studying.

Raether Library is the place where the majority of Trinity students spend their time studying for exams, writing essays and lab reports. It is a place where overall progress is highly encouraged. The oldest part of the library was built in the 1950s, and it has not been an easy job keeping the infrastructure up-to-date. Despite the undertaking, this semester Trinity has started a project that aims to switch all the lighting fixtures and bulbs from CFL to LED.

Why is that relevant to us? First of all, LED lights are more pleasant and comfortable to the human eye. In addition, they last for a significantly longer period of time compared to CFL. These installations will save around 450,000 KWH each year, which is the amount of electricity that about 54 homes use in a year. Moreover, this initial investment will compensate for itself in only two and a half years, which is a very short period of time for an investment of that size. About 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided with the installation of LED lights.

This project is really important for a small liberal art college like Trinity because this institution has always aimed to compete side-by-side with fellow NESCAC schools and even Ivy League universities. One of the things Trinity was lagging behind in was the improvement of sustainability on campus. This project is one of several steps towards becoming a more environmentally friendly institution, using cost efficient alternatives.

Contributed by: Vanja Babunski ’18

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