Mount Allison hosts second annual ‘Lights Out Mount A’

The Sackville Tribune Post

Students and staff at Mount Allison University will take part in their second ‘Lights Out Mount A’ event this Friday.

The entire campus will be turning off lights and talking about climate change throughout the day.

Mount Allison student Keleigh Annau founded Lights Out Canada, the overall project.

“Mount Allison creates an environment that both fosters academic enrichment and empowers students to get involved. To have so many passionate students spreading the word, doing presentations in schools, and helping to coordinate Lights Out Mount A, is truly heartening and incredibly valuable to the project,” says Annau.

Last year, Mount A made history by being the first university ever to participate campus-wide in Lights Out Canada. Mount Allison students, staff, and faculty had the biggest team on the EcoAction teams website, where participants go to sign up and take individual surveys.

Collectively, the university committed to saving 4,949,884 litres of water, 20,517 kg of waste, 192,347 kg of greenhouse gas, $20,858.23 in energy costs, and 305,611 kWh of energy.

“Mount Allison has a long history of coming together to create positive change. We are proud to be the first university in Canada to join this effort and look forward to building on the success of last year’s efforts by partnering again with Keleigh and Lights Out Canada,” says Ron Byrne, Mount A’s vice-president of international and student affairs.

Lights Out Canada

Keleigh Annau’s environmental initiative began when she was just 16, with a pilot project involving high schools. During the event, schools turn off their lights and follow lesson plans provided by Annau and her team. The lesson plans, suitable for Grades K-12, have been reviewed and are endorsed by both teachers and environmental leaders including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Andrew Weaver and David Noble, founder and principal of the 2DegreesC. The Lights Out Canada lesson plans focus on global warming and what individuals can do to effect positive change.

More than 100,000 students in 10 countries took part in the program this past year. This year, in the fifth annual nation-wide event, an unprecedented 140-plus schools registered within three weeks, with numbers continuing to rise. The organization’s goal is 350 schools – a number that represents the safe volume in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Schools across the country will be turning their lights out on April 22, 2010 – Earth Day.