The Tradition of Friday Night Lights
A tradition the Office of Campus Sustainability has on a weekly basis is Friday Night Lights. This program is run with the help of volunteers that go around campus to academic buildings and turn off the lights in each room. The simple act of turning a light switch off has now reached a total savings of $100,000 for Bowling Green State University. To celebrate this milestone, it is worth looking back at the program’s inception.
Dustin Sabo, a graduate of Bowling Green and now Assistant Director in Admissions, saw a need for an energy reduction program on campus as an undergraduate student.
“I can remember walking around campus on the weekends as an undergraduate and thinking to myself that it was such a waste to have all the classroom lights on when I knew they would be used very infrequently, if at all, over the weekend”, said Sabo in an interview. He then saw a similar program at Penn State and knew that it was possible to start a program here at BGSU. However, he had no clue where to start.
Sabo was an Orientation Leader and made connections with administrator Andy Alt in the process. He pitched his idea to Alt, which was received with open arms, and was then directed to Dr. Nick Hennessy. Together they crafted the program that we see today. All of their hard work paid off and continues to even after Sabo has long since graduated.
“I wasn’t sure if anyone would show up that first day, but when they showed up, and continued to show up week after week, it was a great feeling knowing there were others on campus who had a similar passion”, Sabo on the success of the program. “I would also like to believe that through our actions and publicity we helped to change the mindset and actions of at least one person to think about how even their smallest change in behavior could have a big impact”.
Without the help from Dustin Sabo, this program would not exist. Friday Night Lights successfully reduces emissions and costs for BGSU, but it does more, it sets an example for taking small actions, building on those actions, and making big impacts. Turning off a light switch, taking a shorter shower, carpooling, or recycling are all examples of small actions that each of us can take to help the environment.
If you would like to volunteer with Friday Night Lights, it is every Friday night outside of the Union Theater (206 BTSU) at 6:30.