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#FossilFreeFriday raises awareness of carbon footprint, greenhouse gas emissions at Clemson

Courtesy of the Clemson University Biosystems Engineering Department

The Clemson University Biosystems Engineering department, CUSG and Clemson University Parking and Transportation Services are encouraging community members to reduce their carbon footprint by participating in #FossilFreeFriday on April 21.


Organizers say that they hope community members will become more aware of their fossil fuel consumption and learn to take a more active role in reducing it.


“Hopefully by doing this we will create a habit to reduce fossil fuel consumption [in] regards to commuting to campus on Fridays,” said Joseph Green, the sustainability director for CUSG.


Fossil fuels, which include substances such as coal, oil and natural gas, are derived from remains of organisms from the geological past, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When they are burned, they release previously stored carbon dioxide and other pollutants back into the atmosphere, damaging the overall environment and contributing further to climate change.


About 30 percent of Clemson University’s campus greenhouse emissions come from travel, according to Associate Professor of Biosystems Engineering Caye Drapcho. Around 17 percent of that comes from commuting to and from campus.


“Clemson University needs to reduce our carbon footprint to be more sustainable,” Drapcho said. “We are all being affected by global climate change, and the only way we can combat that is to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions.”


Clemson has been working to reduce its campus-wide footprint by improving energy efficiency in dorms and classrooms and by encouraging alternative transportation methods such as carpooling and the use of low-emission vehicles (LEVs).


In addition to carpooling and LEVs, Drapcho says community members can also reduce these emissions by walking, biking or taking the CATbus to and from campus. These methods reduce emissions because they lessen the number of cars emitting greenhouse gases on the road.


Drapcho says community members can also reduce emissions “[by using] less energy throughout the day … [by] turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, washing clothes in cold water, using LED light bulbs [and closing] blinds on a sunny day in summer to keep out the hot sun.”


For more information on Clemson University’s sustainability efforts, visit

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