Their Be Clever Be Green proposal has made German students Arne Tutschapsky and Sven Weber 500 euros richer last Monday. They submitted their detailed idea in a suggestion box. The box was installed after the national Sustainability Day, held on 9 September 2009 in many places, including Maastricht. The sustainable policy working group thought that a suggestion box and an award connected to it, would be the best way to involve students and staff in a more sustainable UM.
Be Clever Be Green now turns out to be the best plan of more than thirty entries. It is detailed, practically applicable, and - not unimportantly - does not cost much. Tutschapsky and Weber's idea is based on three steps: reduce, inform, and benefit. Energy consumption must be reduced and students and staff must be made aware of this. How? By installing energy reduction metres in every faculty, providing insight in the total amount of energy used in the building concerned. By adding last year's figures, everyone can see whether there is progress or decline and may decide to make their own contribution. For example, by turning off computers and lights whenever possible, or by printing less. Tutschapsky: “Amounts should also be mentioned.” The amount spent annually on energy at the UM is approximately two million euros, says Martin Geurts, head of real estate. “That is a quarter of our operating costs.”