ACT in Asheville Day Photo Gallery
For Immediate Release
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Asheville, NC 28804-8507
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UNC Asheville Students Have a "Bright Idea," Install 5,000 Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs; 11th Annual Work Day Held on 9/11 a Success
How many UNC Asheville students does it take to change a light bulb?
The answer is usually one, but on September 11 more than 600 UNC Asheville freshmen installed 5,000 energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs in less than four hours to benefit some of the community's neediest citizens.
The massive project was the focus of the University's 11th annual freshman community service day, Active Citizenship Together (ACT) in Asheville Day. This year, the University partnered with the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville and Appalachian Offsets to install energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs in the homes of Housing Authority residents.
"Freshmen aren't ignored at UNC Asheville," said Elizabeth Stone, 18, of New Bern, N.C. "It's really cool to participate in a freshman tradition that's been happening for 10 years. I love giving back and changing light bulbs for these residents is great."
Appalachian Offsets, a program of the Western North Carolina Green Building Council, donated the bulbs, which were purchased with carbon-offset donations from area residents and businesses. Each replaced bulb will save more than 470 kilowatt hours of electricity and will save some 583 pounds of carbon dioxide and 17 pounds of sulfur dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, said Matt Siegel, director of the WNC Green Building Council.
"Participants in this project will be helping clean the air for the region's children and saving money for themselves and the Housing Authority," Siegel said.
Elderly Erskine-Walton resident Ethel Lee was pleased when the students knocked on her door to deliver the money-saving light bulbs. But she wasn't content to sit back and watch the teenagers at work. Lee washed the light fixtures' glass globes while the students climbed on ladders to switch out the bulbs.
"I've read all about these new bulbs," Lee said. "I'm happy to have the compact fluorescent bulbs and glad these young people are putting them in for me. I wouldn't have been able to do it myself."
Those students who weren't on ladders, lent a hand washing windows and picking up trash throughout five communities.
Laura Noel, 19, of Akron, Ohio, spent her morning picking up debris around the Pisgah View apartments in West Asheville. Because she is from out of town, Noel said she liked getting off campus and seeing more of the city.
"It's very important to be involved with the community, especially Asheville. I've already seen that it has a strong community spirit and it's really cool that I'm getting to experience it today," Noel said.
Spencer Revels, 18, of Winston-Salem agreed.
"ACT in Asheville Day is such a good idea. A lot of students want to do community service but don't know where to start. This helps give us a beginning point."
Merritt Moseley, UNC Asheville Key Center Professor and faculty organizer of the event, hopes all the students will walk away from ACT in Asheville Day with that same mindset.
"UNC Asheville is part of the community and we went to emphasize that to our students," Moseley said.
ACT in Asheville Day is held on the second Tuesday of September each year. This year, that day fell on September 11. The symbolism isn't lost on Moseley.
"By taking action for positive change in our
local community, we are encouraging hopes, not fears," he said.
"I know we are making a positive impact in the world," Martin said. "Even something as small as changing a light bulb can make a big difference when we work together."
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