TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Towson University’s colors are black and gold, but this weekend, the campus is being recognized for its green. The university took up a challenge to make its campus more energy-efficient.

As Gigi Barnett reports, it comes just in time for Earth Day.

Towson University made the switch and nearly 35,000 fluorescent light bulbs are gone. Now there’s a parking lot on campus for electric cars to re-charge and recycle bins are everywhere.

“I throw out all of my water bottles in the recycling bin and all my paper and it’s always full,” said Towson student Marissa Kaufman.

The campus took up a challenge from the Department of Energy to make its buildings 20 percent energy-efficient by 2020.

The West Village Commons showcases the university’s effort. Brand new and state-of-the-art, it uses at least 25 percent less energy than other buildings on campus.

“We really think of the campus as a lab for life. And so, this is where you learn to be responsible about the sustainability of the environment,” said Towson University President Maravene Loeschke.

Towson University is the first higher education institution across the state to partner with the Department of Energy on the challenge.

“Any customer who reduces energy use will be paying less than they otherwise would have been on their energy bill,” said BGE Spokeswoman Ruth Kiselewich.

And that includes Towson.

BGE is also recognizing the campus just in time for Earth Day. The energy company is giving the university nearly $2 million in energy rebates. Towson says it will use it for more upgrades.

“That’s our commitment–to make sure any new building that we have is LEED silver,” Loeschke said.

By making those green upgrades, Towson will save about $1 million every year.

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