Tennessee University Adds Solar Picnic Tables to Campus

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One of the five solar-powered picnic tables at Austin Peay State University. Photo: Austin Peay State University

One of the five solar-powered picnic tables at Austin Peay State University. Photo: Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University (APSU) in Clarksville, Tenn., is upping its renewable energy offerings on campus with the addition of five solar-powered picnic tables.

The tables, located in an outdoor plaza in the center of campus, use solar panels attached to an umbrella canopy to generate 235 watts of electricity.

Students, faculty, staff or visitors can charge their devices, such as phones or laptops, by plugging them into the picnic tables.

Having another place to charge phones and tablets may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that the 10,000 APSU students likely have multiple devices to charge, providing a carbon-free place to do it starts to sound pretty ingenious.

“Everyone carries an iPhone or some type of smartphone and laptops. They have a lot of devices that need to be charged,” Kristen Spicer, environmental health and safety manager for the university, told News Channel 5 in Tennessee.

The new tables, which were constructed from poly-recycled plastic materials, were purchased with money collected through the university’s sustainable campus fee program. The program was developed in 2008 to fund green initiatives, such as recycling projects, energy and water conservation, and the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles.

In recent years, APSU has also added solar panels to its Environmental Education Center, installed Brita Hydration Stations to the residence halls and put in better irrigation systems for landscaping in certain areas of campus.

For more information on how the state school is cutting its environmental impact, check out the full list of green initiatives.

Related: College Students Compete to Create Best Solar-Powered Home

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Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.
Mary Mazzoni