Austin Peay Expands Sustainability With Solar Picnic Tables - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Austin Peay Expands Sustainability With Solar Picnic Tables

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by Adam Ghassemi

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University has expanded its environmentally friendly technology by adding solar powered picnic tables.

The tables have already been set up in anticipation of students returning for the spring semester. They are solar-powered so anyone can use the sun for a quick charge.

"Everyone carries an iPhone or some type of smart phone and laptops. They have a lot of devices that need to be charged," said Environmental Health & Safety Manager Kristen Spicer.

Spicer has been involved in the decision making process of how $10 per semester student fees pay for sustainable projects on-campus. She said it's not always about saving.

"We really want our students to learn more about sustainable initiatives and types of things that they can do as they graduate and move on in their lives," Spicer said.

They've been investing in green technology for a few years. A turbine and solar panels help power a nearby farm and agricultural classroom. Any excess energy produced has been sold back to TVA.

Campus police and staff have been driving electric cars around campus.

University officials hoped little touches would help students appreciate a subtle lesson in being green.

"This is just a nice, very practical way that students can see how solar energy can work," she said.

The solar picnic tables were actually an idea submitted by a student. Students, faculty or staff can offer ideas on how to be more sustainable.

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