Clay’s Corner

Happy Friday, terra-firma-friends! For many of you the “spring” semester is in full swing. So, stop hitting the snooze button and get to that 8AM class you foolishly signed up for last year. 8AM, that’s barely sunrise isn’t it? No, actually dawn was an hour or so before. Just try and make it to class before dusk. That’s about 5PM.

Just think as you trudge off to class that each day is actually getting longer. Our winter equinox on December 20 signaled the shortest time of year for daylight (I’d say ‘sunlight’, but we, in Rochester think ‘sunlight’ is something other places get during the winter). So until our summer equinox our days will grow a bit longer. Which brings us to today’s topic: artificial light (how did we get here???? It’ll all make sense in a few sentences).

Our ancestors used fire, oils, gases for light. We have light bulbs! We have electricity! It’s practically magic. Except it isn’t. We all know that traditional incandescent lights dispense heat along with light and the more we move to a compact fluorescent bulb (cfb), the more we can help reduce the heat, in turn helping to cool the planet.  You know what else we do to help mama earth? We recycle our fluorescent bulbs at UR. I’d like to say we’re special, but the federal government has mandated that institutions, businesses, and other types of organizations recycle their bulbs. Private households, apartments, residential halls and other places considered “homes” are exempt from this. Well, University Facilities and Services goes one step further in recycling. Partnering with the fine folks at Residential Life, any student can take their burned out bulbs to one of the Res. Life offices, where they are stored and picked up by facilities. Due to staff, faculty, administration and students working together we recycled 8 tons (yes, Eight TONS) or over 75,000 bulbs last year.  Pretty good, eh. Pretty, pretty good.

And there’s some even better news on the horizon. In a few years your kids will be talking about you and how you used those old fashioned compact fluorescent bulbs. LEDs are on the way and are already being used in some organizations. Right now LEDs are a bit more expensive, but so were CFBs when they were introduced. LEDs= more light + less heat. It’s coming. So, keep recycling and stay proud. Oh and don’t forget to go to class.

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