Congratulations to Dr. Neil Jennings this weeks Climate Community Citizen of the Week.
With all of the difficulties being faced in Copenhagen this week, we thought it would be nice to reward a person – Neil – for doing something that is both fun – and at the core of what we all should be doing – in our homes, schools, and workplaces….
Dr Neil Jennings is the founder of a climate change campaign running in the UK called the Student Switch Off . The campaign gets halls of residence within 33 Universities to compete against each other to save energy and gives out prize incentives at the individual and communal level over the course of the academic year. Key to the success of the campaign are students living in halls who pledge to use their energy carefully by becoming an 'Eco-Power Ranger'! This year over 11,000 students have signed up as Eco-Power Rangers (over 13.5% of those in halls). The target is to reduce energy usage in halls by over 10% and to keep over 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere – last academic year at 11 Universities the campaign reduced electricity usage by 9.3% and saved over 1,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Neil came up with the concept of the Student Switch Off while undertaking his PhD at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research – he wanted to take his concern for the issue and give students clear steps they could take to reduce their impact on climate change. Neil hopes to bring the campaign to other countries in future years so watch out for a guy in spandex coming your way. Congratulations to Neil and all of those supporting energy efficiency!