My name is Vaia, I’m studying Law at the University of Athens and during the last academic year 2018-19 I was one of the Student Switch Off (SSO) student ambassadors in my university. The first thing that comes to mind when speaking about SSO is that the campaign has helped me realize how much energy I wasted in the past due to my low energy awareness at the time. Even though I was always trying to save energy, it was after I got involved with the SSO campaign when I recognized and tried to get rid of my small daily energy wasting practices such as leaving the lights on in empty rooms or not putting lids on pans when cooking. After a year of active participation in the campaign I can say that my energy saving lifestyle has changed significantly! Now, when I have the chance, I prefer to switch off the lights and have dinner on my balcony under candle lights enjoying the Athenian nights or when it gets a little bit colder, around November, to put some extra clothes instead of turning the heating on.
In addition, I had the chance to meet other students, socialize and exchange ideas and tips on ways to be more energy efficient in our everyday life. When we had dinner or coffee together with the friends with whom we shared a common rooms and kitchen, we loved to chat about modern environmental challenges, their connection to energy wastage and carbon dioxide emissions, and how we could find new ways to save even more energy in our rooms. Those conversations have been a good occasion for us to get to know each other better and build stronger social relationships. After a conversation like that I ended up becoming a member of our university’s student environmental team and made even more friends! On the other hand, many of my new friends followed the SSO campaign!
Concluding, I strongly believe that an energy saving lifestyle will give me an asset after leaving the university dorms. Now I am confident enough that when I‘ll rent an apartment, I’ll apply all these learnings and habits that I learned thanks to my experience with the Student Switch Off campaign. This won’t only be environmentally beneficial, but I will also save money since my energy bills will be lower and I will be able to spend more on my hobbies such as knitting.
Last but not least, I would like to encourage every student to take part in the SSO campaign. Speak with an ambassador about energy saving, follow a local SSO social media page, receive the SSO newsletter, take some nice pictures for the SSO photo competitions, answer the quizzes and win prizes. My experience with all these was enjoyable and rewarding and here I share a couple of photos from my new energy saving life! Save energy and enjoy!