The campaign for a cleaner planet has reached pandemic levels lately and it seems like everyone is trying to “go green” in one way or another. Buses are now running on electricity, subway trains are full of posters urging us to save Mother Earth and some grocery stores no longer offer plastic bags. St. John’s, too, has been a part of this new wave of green.
For example, Montgoris Dining Hall recently ended the use of trays in order to conserve water and save food. However, while trays were taken away, brand-new HD TVs were added.
Students who usually dine at Montgoris will certainly have taken notice of these five new flat screen Philips HD TVs on the first floor and of the exceptionally large Panasonic HD TV on the second floor. These TVs were recently purchased to replace the older models.
However, these TVs are not being put to good use. First, the only channel that is played is MTVU, which shows music videos.
Second, the volume is so low that during peak hours in Montgoris, students can’t hear the TVs. These new TVs are also never turned off, wasting energy.
HD TVs are energy-munching appliances. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, one 32-inch HD TV costs at least $100 per year to operate – and the bigger the screen, the more electricity is used.
And HD TVs are quite an expensive purchase. On average, HDTVs cost around $800 each. Some can even cost up to $5,500, depending on the brand, screen-size, and whether they are Plasma or LCD.
The sad reality is that this money could have been used in better ways. Various clubs and organizations on campus are struggling with budget constraints. After all, students have come to St. John’s to get the most they can of an educational experience. When budget is limited, responsible choices need to be made.
Therefore, while the no tray policy was a step in the right direction toward creating a green campus, introducing the flat screen HD TVs has brought St. John’s back to the starting point.
The TVs create a lot of waste because they are kept on at all times, and they are not used effectively. The University needs to display a more solid stand in terms of its green policies.