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Sustainable Living Tips

What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? Here are just a few of the ways that you can make a difference on campus and at home.

On campus and at home

  1. Unplug appliances (coffee makers, toasters, hair dryers etc.) when not in use. They continue to draw power when plugged in.
  2. Unplug cell phone and laptop chargers when not in use. They also draw energy when plugged in.
  3. Turn off your computer when not in use. No, this will not reduce the life expectancy of your computer….it will simply save you energy and money!
  4. Turn off lights when you leave a room. This one is so simple…but many of us forget to do it!
  5. Recycle and buy recycled products. Not only does it save energy to recycle items like cans and bottles, but it also saves natural resources. Remember that on campus we can recycle plastics #1-5, and #7, glass, metal cans, and all types of paper. Just remember to use the correct receptacles when recycling your materials!
  6. Use less paper. Many computers on campus are equipped with double-sided printing options….use them! We use 8 million sheets of paper a year on campus and we need to work hard to reduce that amount. Think before you print! Keep track of your networked printing jobs with PaperCut.
  7. Replace your light bulbs. Consider replacing your old incandescent light bulbs with newer more energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). Not only do they last longer and use less energy, but they'll save you money too!! New LED lights are even more efficient than CFLs!

At home

  1. Examine your windows. Homes lose most of their heat out the windows and out the attic. If your windows are old and drafty consider replacing them with new Energy Star rated efficient windows. Not in the budget? Consider using plastic window insulation or weather stripping during the winter to stop large drafts.
  2. Insulate your attic. As mentioned above, large amounts of energy can be lost out your roof. That's money blowing out the attic! New or additional amounts of insulation are one of the most cost effective ways to save money and energy in your home.
  3. Turn down the thermostat. You can save 3% on your energy bill for every one degree that you lower your thermostat. Add a sweater or some slippers to your indoor winter wardrobe and save some energy!
  4. Buy a programmable thermostat. Why do you have to heat the house when you're not even home? Or why heat it excessively when you are sleeping? A programmable thermostat is easy to use and can save you $100 a year when used properly.
  5. Purchase efficient new appliances. In need of a refrigerator or washing machine? Consider purchasing a new appliance with an Energy Star rating for highest energy efficiency and lowest energy costs for you! Replacing a pre-1993 model refrigerator can save a minimum of $120 a year!
  6. Use natural lighting when possible. On sunny winter days consider opening your blinds and curtains to let in natural light. Not only will this help eliminate the need for turning on lights, but it can help heat your home too. In the summer, consider closing curtains and blinds during the hottest part of the day to reduce your air conditioning costs.
  7. Consider having a clothesline. Save energy by drying your clothes outside on nice warm days.