Mount Holyoke College Joins Energy Star’s Million Monitor Drive

Setting computers in Power Save Mode will save money, electricity and reduce CO2 emissions.

For Immediate Release
September 28, 2005

Contact: Kevin McCaffrey

South Hadley, MA--A coalition of students and staff have launched a campaign to get 2,800 computer monitors into Power Save Mode as part of Mount Holyoke College's participation in the nationwide Million Monitor Drive. In Power Save Mode monitors turn off within 15 minutes or less of idle time.

Putting 2,800 monitors in Power Save Mode will save the College $49,000 and 574,000 kWh, enough to light 460 "average" homes for a year. The reduction of emissions from the power plants that produce the College's electricity will be 411 tons of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), which is equivalent to removing 71 cars from the road, or planting 112 acres of trees.

The coalition organizing the drive includes: Todd Holland, Five-College Energy Manager, Library, Information and Technology Services (LITS), Safety and Environmental Affairs, the MHC student organization Environmental Action Coalition (EAC), and the Center for the Environment.

The drive was launched in the summer of 2005 when Scott Coopee, Director of Infrastructure, Systems and Support at LITS signed the Million Monitor Drive pledge with the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program.

LITS has pledged to place 1,500 College-owned monitors in Power Save Mode by 2007. "From now on, when staff and faculty get a brand new computer from LITS, the monitor will be delivered to them in Power Save Mode," said Coopee.

n addition, the coalition is asking all faculty and staff to put their current monitors and CPUs/ hard drives in Power Save Mode. When CPUs/ hard drives are in Power Save Mode they go on standby after an extended period of inactivity.

The EAC has pledged to get 75% of all student-owned monitors and CPUs/hard drives, a total of 1,300 computers, into Power Save mode by November 22, 2005. EAC's additional focus on getting CPUs/hard drives into Power Save Mode will save an additional $29,000 in electricity costs, 338,000 kWh, enough to light an additional 270 homes, and will reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 242 tons, which is equivalent to removing 42 cars from the road or planting 66 acres of trees.

EAC's campaign is part of an intercollegiate competition with Amherst and Smith Colleges, with each student environmental group working towards the 75% goal. In total, the three-college student campaign will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,800 tons and will save the three colleges $220,000/year. EAC will receive a money prize if it meets the 75% goal, and more if it wins the competition. The money will be used to purchase enough green energy to make up the rest of the energy used by student computers on campus.

Mount Holyoke College's Million Monitor Drive coalition will initiate an ongoing public education campaign for staff, faculty, and students so that they do not unknowingly undermine the drive by keeping their computers on all night, using screen savers, or disabling the power-save function on their computers. "How we use energy on campus is a community responsibility," said Lauret Savoy, professor of geology and director of the Center for the Environment. "The coordination of student efforts with those of the Five-College Energy Coordinator, MHC's Safety and Environmental Affairs, and the Center for the Environment is one example of the community coming together to meet its responsibility."

To publicize its campaign, EAC has posted an information bulletin board at Blanchard, and will have a demonstration table at Blanchard on October 3 and 4 from 10 am till 3 pm and on October 5 from 10 am-noon. In addition, 10 ft by 10 ft by 11 ft wooden CO2 box is on display in front of Blanchard, which represents the volume of carbon dioxide a student can keep from being released into the atmosphere by setting a computer on Power Save Mode.