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Sweater Days, Better Days

By Marco Vargas, For The Easterner

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EWU created Sweater Days, Better Days to garner student support for the energy conservation effort.  

Sweater Days, Better Days is a program that has students wear sweaters so the EWU buildings can reduce the heat to save money on heat energy. EWU can then use the saved money for any important categories including business, housing and financial aid.

This program originated in 2014 and is only going on during winter quarters.

Erik Budsberg, EWU sustainability coordinator, began in June 2016 and is new to the program. He said Sweater Days, Better Days was made to bring awareness to energy conservation and encourage people on campus to participate in reducing the heating expenses by wearing sweaters.

“If everybody on campus were to dress warm, then we can turn down the set points on the thermostats on campus,” said Budsberg. “So instead of heating a building at 70 degrees, we can turn it down to 68 degrees.”

Budsberg also said that the program is not trying to make people uncomfortable.

“By reducing the set points of the thermostats by a couple of degrees, it means that we do not have to use as much energy to heat the campus,” said Budsberg. “We get our energy from natural gas. The program means we would be burning less natural gas, which saves the university money. And it also saves us on greenhouse gas.”

Budsberg said the Rozell Plant, located on campus, is the major source that collects natural gas from outside and turns it into heat energy, which is used to heat the buildings. Using less natural gas means using less heat energy, which saves EWU money.

“I think it’s really important to bring awareness to energy consumption and the effect we have on the environment by simply turning down the thermostat,” Emily Sherman, EWU senior and Office of Sustainability employee said.

Sherman also was the one who put the campaign together this year.

Sherman said Sweater Days, Better Days is an easy way for students to get involved with sustainability on campus.

“There is still a lot of work to do to get the word out about Sweater Days, Better Days,” Sherman said.

Budsberg said he recommends students get involved with the campaign, as well as participating in other activities held by the Office of Sustainability.

“I am still new on campus,” said Budsberg. “But I would love to get involved with anyone that is interested in any aspect of sustainability. It is a great opportunity for students to participate in not just heat energy conservation, but also things like water, garden and food systems.”

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Sweater Days, Better Days