Lighting Fair - 2013

The third annual Energy-Saving Lighting Fair
November 26, 2013

Now it’s easier than ever for the WPI community to purchase bulbs, lamps, and related items that are more cost-efficient and environmentally sound than traditional options.

The third annual Energy-Saving Lighting Fair, to be held Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 11am to 5pm in the Rubin Campus Center, offers a variety of energy-efficient lighting products―including holiday lights―for a fraction of the retail cost.

The event is coordinated by the WPI Student Green Team in collaboration with Mass Save®, an initiative sponsored by the state’s gas and electric utilities to promote energy efficiency for residents and businesses.

Liz Tomaszewski, WPI facilities systems manager and sustainability coordinator, says the fair had its beginnings with a Mass Save program that approached college campuses about coming in and educating students, faculty members, and staff members about lowering energy costs and sparing resources.

“About three years ago, Mass Save reached out to facilities chief engineer Bill Grudzinski, who manages all utilities on campus,” she says. The Student Green Team quickly got involved, and the lighting fair became an annual event.

Tomaszewski, who also serves as the Student Green Team’s advisor, explains that the organization evolved from a loose group of students who were concerned about the environment and sustainability. The team also sponsors programs such as the annual waste stream audit (held earlier this month) and electronics recycling drives.

The lighting fair not only shows WPI’s environmental commitment, says Green Team public relations officer Victor Hu, but really does offer a cost-saving opportunity. He says that despite the discounts, people may first notice the higher prices of individual items and not realize that the trade-off is greater long-term savings.

“Sometimes people don’t like to think long term,” says Hu. “But then I hear from people who say, ‘Oh, I never realized I could save money by switching to a different light bulb.’”

Making the lighting products available is only one aspect of the fair, he adds. Educating the community is also a big part of it. “It’s one thing to tell people about saving money and resources; it’s another thing to show them.”

This year’s fair will offer a new service, according to Green Team president Meghan Dawe. Those unable to attend the event to make purchases may order online until 10 p.m. Monday and take delivery Tuesday.

“Simply check out the flyer, decide what you want, and email your order to,” says Dawe. “Include where you want your order delivered and (provide) a 30- to 60-minute (window) of when you want it delivered.”

The Green Team will send a confirmation email, and will accept cash or checks (no credit or debit cards) upon delivery. WPI ID will also be required.

Dawe adds that donations to the Student Green Team for its delivery service are welcomed and appreciated.

By Mike D’Onofrio