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Campaigning for green power; SOARE makes soda can display to encourage students to vote for energy

It might be difficult to visualize what a source of renewable energy is.
But the Student Organization to Advance Renewable Energy (SOARE) at Austin Peay State University has found a way for students to conceptualize energy efficiency.

SOARE members built a pyramid using 650 soda cans, the environmental equivalent of buying a block of renewable energy. The cans are stacked on cardboard layers, with the bottoms glued and the board double taped.
It might be difficult to visualize what a source of renewable energy is.
But the Student Organization to Advance Renewable Energy (SOARE) at Austin Peay State University has found a way for students to conceptualize energy efficiency.

SOARE members built a pyramid using 650 soda cans, the environmental equivalent of buying a block of renewable energy. The cans are stacked on cardboard layers, with the bottoms glued and the board double taped.

Jessica Cameron, president of SOARE, said members constructed the soda can display over the holiday break as a way to educate and campaign for renewable energy, or green power.

“These cans, when recycled, save the same amount of energy as a block of green power,” she said.

Through Thursday, Jan. 25, the SOARE-sponsored energy referendum, “Be Clean, Go Green,” will offer APSU students the opportunity to decide whether to allocate a $10-per-semester student fee to increase energy efficiency, install renewable energy and purchase renewable energy for the APSU campus.

The voting will take place on APSU's Web site, www.apsu.edu.

If students approve the initiative, APSU could join other universities in Tennessee in implementing campus renewable energy fees, pending TBR approval.

SOARE's efforts in advocating for the use of green power on APSU's campus will be featured in the Jan. 24 issue of USA Today.

Dr. Joe Schiller, associate professor of biology and SOARE adviser, said increasing renewable energy use in the U.S. reduces pollution responsible for environmental illnesses such as asthma and global warming greenhouse gases, increases energy and national security and provides an engine of economic growth, especially in rural agricultural communities.

Following the student vote, the soda cans used in the display will be recycled to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

For more information, contact Schiller by telephone at (931) 221-7249 or by e-mail at schillerj@apsu.edu. -- Melony Leazer