The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Energy week promotes sustainable practices

Anna Boarini | Monday, September 24, 2012

This week, students should remember to turn the lights off in their dorm rooms and take the stairs instead of the elevator: Energy Week is upon us.


Hosted by the Center for Sustainable Energy student advisory board (CSEND), Energy Week teaches students about energy consumption and sustainability.


For the first time, Notre Dame is collaborating with the city of South Bend on Energy Week.


Junior Lauren Eckert said the partnership aims to bond students with South Bend residents through a shared interest.


“We did the bulk of this work last semester, but we basically just communicated and brainstormed with Jonathan Geels [project specialist for the South Bend Department of Energy] about ways we could encourage a student-community relationship with the shared interest of sustainable energy,” she said.


Eckert said the collaboration is a way for students to break out of the “Golden Dome bubble.”


“As students, we can have a tendency to dismiss South Bend and it was really exciting to find a part of the community that was progressive and very interested in sustainable energy,” she said.


On Saturday, Eckert said there will be both a trolley tour and bike tour of green and sustainable buildings in the community.


“I was very excited to find out South Bend has some very progressive LEED-[Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design] certified buildings, which will be on the community energy tours,” she said.


The South Bend community is also hosting their very own energy week this week, Eckert said.


“This event is not affiliated with Energy Week here, but in conjunction with,” she said. “The community has taken it to a while other level. What started as a Notre Dame event has grown for the entire community.”


CSEND student board chairman Daniel Brach said he became involved with the group after he visited the display on South Quad of energy businesses, organizations and Notre Dame researchers during last year’s event.


“I went to the Quad Display and was talking with GE [General Electric] and I was really fascinated, [and] I was just getting into the energy issue and they said I should come to the career dinner,” he said. “I went on a whim and all these companies come and talk about what their company is doing, where they see the future of energy is.”


Brach said the dinner, which is taking place this evening in Club Naimoli, is a great networking event.


“We have a lot of interesting companies coming … GE, Innovative Solar and then DayAway Careers,” he said.


Students can attend another networking event Tuesday night at Legends of Notre Dame, where Maggie Koerth-Baker, author of “Before the Lights Go Out,” will give a presentation, Brach said.


Wednesday, students have the opportunity to tour the Notre Dame Power Plant.


“Every year, we have about 30 students go on the tour,” he said. “It is actually a fascinating tour, because you learn not only about the power but the water and how it is all really interconnected.”


For a full list of Energy Week events, go to energy.nd.edu