We have several ambitions regarding education and outreach. The project will be readily apparent to the some of the occupants of the building when the light sensors are triggered to switch the lights on or off. However, this may only be true for those people who enter the building first in the mornings, or who work late at night and at weekends when the occupancy is lower. Therefore, there will be the need to inform local users about the project, so that the switching of the lights does not come as a surprise and to allay fears about a lack of lighting. This will happen through emails sent to building occupants, and posters placed on noticeboards in the affected corridors, which will explain the idea behind the project, the likely environmental benefits and, once installed, the electricity savings made (as measured from the monitoring equipment mentioned earlier). We will also send out a survey to building users to both assess the occupancy times, but also to gauge their opinions on the measures and their concerns. This will have the side benefit of providing publicity for the project.
We would also like to publicize the project throughout the campus as a whole with the purpose of getting people to think about whether a project like this could work in their building, or encouraging them to think about other sustainability projects that they could initiate on campus. Through publicity of a successful project we also hope to reach people on campus in influential positions, which will hopefully aid with the roll out of occupancy based lighting throughout campus and possibly beyond. To do this we propose to write articles and newsletters for online and print media that will describe the project before installation and also to present the results after installation. Suggested media include: the UW Today email newsletter; both the College of Environment news blog and the bimonthly newsletter (The Insider); the Program on the Environment (PoE) posts site/blog, the UW SEED (Students Expressing Environmental Dedication) site; Inter-university sustainability websites/blogs/newsletters; and local press. Other potential media will be researched and identified by students working on the project. They will also be largely responsible for writing the above articles, etc.
The students will also be involved in preparing and updating a project website, Facebook page and Twitter account. As well as general project information, these will provide regular updates on the progress of the project as it goes on. When the installation is complete, and data is being obtained from the lighting sensors, results detailing the amount of power and money saved will be posted every 2 weeks. This will include graphs of the results and interesting comparisons (e.g. “during the last 2 weeks we saved enough electricity to continuously power an electric kettle”). Along similar lines, we will produce monthly posters to present information on the project results for the last month that will be displayed around campus.
We will also encourage campus users to use the Facebook page and Twitter feed to comment upon campus buildings that seem to be bad offenders for wasting lighting energy. These sites will also be a useful way to gauge interest in the project and to gauge the effectiveness of the outreach via the number of comments being posted, number of Facebook “likes”, amount of site traffic, etc. You Tube videos may also be created to advertise the project.
The website will also contain a number of useful educational components, such as details on the cost analysis of the project, e.g. what the payback time of the project is for each floor of the building and how it was calculated; how the materials and labor costs break down; how many sensors and switches were required and where they were placed, etc. The number of times per day that the lights are switched on will also be of interest for the purpose of assessing whether this is having a significant effect on the lifetime of the bulbs. Details on the carbon footprint of any extra bulb replacements could also be provided. This will act as a useful case study for people interested in implementing similar schemes in other buildings. Seminars explaining the project implementation details, problems encountered and the savings results will perform a similar function. Such seminars will also help towards the goal of encouraging others to take up sustainability projects such as this, or other sustainability projects. One platform for the seminars could be the annual Campus Sustainability Day event where an information table on the Red Square would also be set up. The students would also be tasked with identifying other events appropriate for publicizing the project.