Energy Awareness and Conservation

Saving energy is a powerful way to conserve resources and reduce our environmental impact. The below tips, from everyday actions to improvements you can make if you own your own home, provide a range of simple ways to be conscious of and cut back on your own daily energy use.

Students

If you live in a residence hall, there are lots of everyday choices you can make to reduce your energy impact:

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Plug all your appliances into a power strip so you can turn them off all at once
  • Use compact florescent light bulbs (recyclable in the Sustainability Office)
  • Use cold water to do laundry and only wash and dry full loads
  • Use a drying rack instead of a dryer
  • Take shorter showers
  • Consider how much you need each appliance in your room
  • Avoid leaving dorm windows open for a long time, especially when the heat is on
  • Put on sweaters and turn down the thermostat, especially when you’re not around

For more ways to live sustainably in the dorms, check out the Green Residence Hall Room page.

If you rent an apartment or house, you have more power over your living space and can make additional changes to implement energy efficiency:

  • Buy a doorstop or put towels under drafty doors
  • Weatherstrip doors and windows and insulate windows with plastic (or bubble wrap!)
  • Buy local foods
  • Run your fan in reverse to draw warm air down in the winter
  • Install cheap foam gaskets behind outlet switch plates
  • Check out your fridge
    • Cover food, clean the compressor foils, check the seal and put in water jugs to keep it full and colder
  • Put aluminum foil behind radiators
  • Use an electric blanket or hot water bottle to stay warm at night
  • Arrange furniture so it’s not blocking vents or radiators
  • Get a cover for your AC
  • Air dry dishes
  • Grow plants or set out pans of water to increase humidity and feel warmer!

Source:  http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/save-energy-water-apartment.htm

For more info on smart and sustainable renting, check out the following resources:

Faculty/Staff

If you own your own home, there are even bigger steps you can take towards energy sustainability:

  • Look for appliances with an Energy Star rating
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120 F
  • Install low-flow faucets and shower heads
  • Seal air leaks with foam sealant
  • Seal air duct leaks
  • Cover your kitchen exhaust fan
  • Put in storm windows over single-pane windows or install double-pane ones
  • Consider adding insulation, especially to the attic and basement
  • Clean furnace and AC filters, radiators, baseboard heaters and registers regularly

For more tips, check out this Energy Savers guide:  www.energysavers.gov/pdfs/energy_savers.pdf

In the office:

  • Focus lighting where you need it and turn lights off near windows
  • Open blinds during the day and close them at night to make use of sunlight for heating
  • Unplug chargers, fans, coffee makers, printers, radios etc. when not in use
  • Turn off computers, monitors and photocopiers at the end of the day
  • Photocopy only what you need, print double-sided and reuse one-sided sheets as scrap paper
  • Carpool, bike or take public transit to work
  • When you drive, observe the speed limit, accelerate slowly and keep your tires pumped
  • Consider telecommuting
  • Bring your own thermos or mug instead of using disposable cups

Source:  Office Energy Checklist, www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/services/energy_aware_oec.html