Earlier this year Green Impact organised a campaign to blackout the Arts Tower. it was a good choice as it is one of the most prominent buildings not only on campus but in the entire city.
The call went out for volunteers to participate and once again I stuck my hand up (if you’ve read this weeks blog you can see a pattern of not listening and learning on my part!). Volunteers were however rewarded with free pizza for tea and a hand powered penguin torch. How could I resist that?
The day (or actually night) of the blackout duly arrived and the volunteers assembled in a lecture theatre. As a responsible member of staff (no laughing!) I was given a small team of students and tasked with checking several floors of the tower to ensure all lights and devices were switched off and that the floors were vacated. Arts Tower occupants were also encouraged to help by the creation of a competition. Whichever Department had unplugged and powered down the most devices (phone chargers, PC’s, Screens, fans, microwaves, hair straighteners, massage chairs etc) would win a prize! Don’t ask me what the prize was as we didn’t win mainly due to a couple of PC screens and a single iPad charger being left plugged in on our floor. On my OWN desk! (oops!)
As my team and I started we kept a tally of devices left plugged in or switched off and also “encouraged” any staff or students still in the tower to relocate to alternate accommodation. We found very few people left in the tower but as we progressed floor by floor we got more enthusiastic. By the time we had reached out last floor to check we were more like bouncers telling people to drink up and leave at chucking out time!
However it was very effective. As you can see from the picture and the infographic below it made quite a difference. I’d like to point out that the rogue lights towards the top of the tower were vending machines that had connected to skynet and become self aware so we were too scared to turn them off!
So after the success of the Arts Tower Blackout we’re keen to it again but on a bigger scale (size is allegedly everything)! The intention is to next time incorporate a number of prominent buildings on campus in a blackout which will require more effort all round. So if you fancy volunteering and participating (free pizza, penguin torch remember) keep checking green impact webpages, twitter and blog for news.