The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) in partnership with UCC Students’ Union, UCC, and UCC Green Campus yesterday launched a major European energy efficiency and energy saving campaign called ‘Student Switch Off’ encouraging students in Cork to save energy and combat climate change. The campaign is supported by the European Union to the sum of €1.5m over the next 3 years across Europe.
Speaking about the launch, USI President Michael Kerrigan said, “We’re delighted to officially launch the ‘Student Switch Off’ campaign in UCC to help students save energy. It’s great to see students taking the lead on issues like climate change and sustainability. The aim of the campaign is simple: save energy, and win prizes like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and open student return tickets from Irish Rail. All students have to do to take part is add the campaign on Snapchat on SwitchOff.ie and take part in the call to actions, which involve taking a selfie doing an energy saving action at home.”
UCC Students’ Union Deputy and Campaigns Officer Seán Ó Riabhaigh went on to say, “UCC Students’ Union are delighted to be a part of the ‘Student Switch Off’ campaign. As the first university in the world to receive the Green Flag, sustainability has been at the forefront of what the Students’ Union and UCC have been doing for the last decade.
“As the Chairperson of the Green Campus Committee I can safely say that UCC students and staff alike are as dedicated to ensuring the future of our University and world as anything else. With the help of ‘Student Switch Off’, we hope that a collective effort throughout all of Ireland can help raise awareness and push sustainability to the core of what is done in every institution in the country.”
The ‘Student Switch Off’ campaign will incorporate national-level partnerships with smart meter delivery agencies to show the benefits of smart meters and saving energy. The ‘Student Switch Off’ campaign will provide ongoing advice and support to students via energy-efficiency and bill management training, peer-to-peer advice sharing via video blogs and regular e-mail and social media communications. DCU, Maynooth University, NUI Galway and UCC are the four Irish universities taking part in the first year of the campaign.
UCC was named the ninth most sustainable university in the world earlier this year, being the highest-ranked university in Ireland for the seventh year running.