We are all aware of global environmental deterioration, and the critical issues of lack of water and energy here in South Africa. But are we doing something ourselves to combat the environmental crisis? As an initiative to spark environmental awareness on Howard College, a group of concerned students and staff has decided to do something to make a change and have launched the “Greening UKZN Campaign.” 

The Campaign kicked off on the Howard College campus on September 30 with students setting up a green corner that engaged both students and staff on issues pertaining to the environment.  Students and staff across the disciplines were seen at the green corner to learn more on how to create a more sustainable environmental behaviour.

Campaign member Ms Anja Bakken said a walk about of the Howard College campus alone had shown that lights are turned on 24 hours a day; air conditioners are left on and taps are often left open. “The wastage of huge amounts of paper, energy and water has a negative impact on the environment. Pollution is a big problem in Durban but we do not actively do much to address the problem. We would like students to become more involved in our programme to create a safer environment,” said Ms Bakken.

Ms Bakken said people do not consciously consider the implications of every decision they make. For example every time they use an electrical appliance or print documents their carbon footprint is increased.

A few ideas suggested by Ms Bakken to create a green University environment were: the use of energy efficient light bulbs around campuses; the installation of taps with sensors to avoid wastage of water; and recycling of paper. 

The campaign has introduced an energy management competition to discourage excessive energy usage in three student residences. The competition will run from September 27 until October 22. The residences involved in the competition are Louis Botha, Ansell May and Townley Williams on the Howard College campus. They were chosen because they were the only ones with functioning meters, which have also been working for a long period of time, so that the average consumption level was obtainable.

According to the energy management at UKZN new meters will be installed at all residences, and th
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