LED lighting switch part of Seton Hill University's sustainability efforts
Aug 31, 2023
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Students, staff and campus visitors soon will be seeing Greensburg’s Seton Hill University in a new light.
The university’s Lighting the Future program will replace all 200 of its large outdoor lighting fixtures over the next three years with new versions that will allow conversion from incandescent lighting to more efficient and environmentally friendly LED lights.
The lights are a safety feature on the campus, but their glow shines up into the sky, which can be a problem for birds. The new fixtures will be less obtrusive and more wildlife-friendly.
The switch to LED lights meanwhile could reduce the university’s energy consumption by more than 680,000 kilowatt-hours annually — enough to provide power to about 65 homes for one year.
Seton Hill’s Lighting the Future program, expected to cost $278,535, is being assisted by a $43,000 grant from the nonprofit West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund.
The university will incorporate the program into the classroom, teaching students the environmental benefits of new lighting technology.
The Sustainable Energy Fund grant “will help us both reduce our energy consumption and offer additional educational opportunities for our students,” said Seton Hill President Mary Finger. “Seton Hill University is committed to sustainability through a number of initiatives on our campus.”
Those initiatives include forming a student-led environmental group and creating a new position: director of sustainability and outreach.
Students who get take-out at the university will be able to have their meals served in reusable plastic containers instead of disposable foam.
The university has pollinator gardens and bat houses to attract beneficial winged creatures. It also plants vegetable gardens in partnership with the Seton Hill Sisters of Charity. One third of the resulting produce is donated to the Westmoreland County Food Bank while the rest is split between the university and the sisters.
“We continue to look for ways to be better stewards of the earth as part of our Laudato Si’ Action Platform that the university has developed in response to Pope Francis’ call to care for our common home,” Finger said.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .
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