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“Mean Green” means business. Students take the energy conservation initiative very seriously, in fact, they take it to the gym.
At Pohl Recreation Center, 36 elliptical machines are equipped with ReRev technology that converts kinetic energy into electrical energy used in the facility’s power grid.
Only 18 schools in the United States have this technology, and UNT is only the second university to offer the ReRev Renewable Energy System.
The system takes the kinetic energy from the resistance in the elliptical machines and transfers it into electrical energy that is changed into an alternating current used in the facility’s power grid. This energy is emitted as a heat by-product, usually heating up the recreation center, but with ReRev, that heat is used to help power the facility, cutting down on heat emission from the machines.
Although Laurie Klein, senior associate director, knows the system will take a century to pay for itself, the lesson of sustainability is worth the price. Klein said she supports the ReRev system because it provides a way for students to get involved and help the environment while they are helping themselves.
“From an educational standpoint, it’s been outstanding for our students,” Klein said.
Tyler Jenkins, a student at UNT who frequently goes to the gym, said the benefits of the program are a great motivation.
“If we are going to be putting energy out, we might as well be putting it back into the system,” Jenkins said.
This recycling of energy not only motivates Jenkins to work harder, it also persuades his peers to join the program.
A 30-minute workout produces 50 watt hours of carbon-free electricity. That amount of electricity could power a television for 10 minutes, a ceiling fan for 15 minutes, a laptop for one hour and could charge a cell phone six times, according to the ReRev brochure.
Using the ReRev machines lessens the impact of society’s carbon footprint, Jenkins said.
“If I’m putting out energy to make a change in my body, might as well make a change in the world too,” he said.
Story compiled by Rachel, Molly, Madison, and Markus.
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