– The sustainability team started the Lights Out campaign at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) to focus on saving electricity.
– The campaign was a competition that challenged staff to turn off lights and resulted in more than 17,000 lights turned off in four weeks.
– Staff were encouraged to continue the effort by turning off lights, televisions and computers when not in use.
Think about how much electricity is being used at CRMH at any given time. If you added up every light switch and electronic device that is on in every patient room, conference room or office, that’s a significant amount of energy! CRMH’s sustainability team, led by Sara Wohlford and Nathalia Esteves-Fuentes, realized that many lights, televisions and computers were being left on when not in use and that they could do something to change it. The Lights Out campaign was their solution. “The goals of the Lights Out campaign were to reduce our impact on the environment and bring about positive behavior change,” said Nathalia, administrative fellow. “We want people to think every day about electricity use and making reducing energy usage an everyday habit.” First, Nathalia and Sara Wohlford, sustainability manager, did a survey of where lights, televisions and computer monitors were being left on at CRMH. Then they kicked off a month-long competition to see who of the more than 70 staff members that signed up could save the most electricity. Each person was given an electronic counter that they used to track the number of switches they turned off. There are plans to run the Lights Out campaign again at the beginning of next year. Nathalia and Sara want to save more energy, turn off more lights and hit a goal of turning off 20,000 light switches at CRMH.