Not AC dependent!
Giving up AC is one of the best things you can do for the environment as a student. AC units are extremely energy intensive, which means their carbon footprint, and yours if you use one is larger than necessary. One personal AC unit may seem minuscule when compared to other energy intensive things, but with so many millions of students all over the world, the potential for CO2 release is huge. Instead try opening a window, turning on a fan, or taking a cold shower. It doesn’t take long to adjust to a new climate, and before you know it you will be shivering in your bed.
All The Way!
All of the energy used to power Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs is converted into light, unlike standard incandescent bulbs which use a tremendous amount of energy to…heat up. This is why CFL’s reduce energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions by about 75% and last about 10 times as long as standard bulbs. These energy savers contain a little mercury (4-5 mg) so it is important that they are recycled. If they are thrown away, they will end up in the landfill where the mercury can severely harm soil and groundwater. Click here to find out where CFL’s can be recycled near you.
A Power Strip!
Did you know your electronics continue to suck energy even when turned ‘off’ to maintain functions like timers, clocks, memory, sleep, and remote ‘on’ and ‘off’ switches. These electronics, often referred to as vampire electronics, include TV systems, DVD players, computers, audio systems, clock radios, and microwave ovens. The simplest, easiest, and most efficient solution to this sneaky vampire electronics problem is to buy a power strip with an on and off switch, but remember to switch them off when the electronics are not in use! These power strips cost $9.99 at Ace Hardware and usually have about six outlets so most of your electronics can be attached.
About Your Mini Fridge!
The mini fridge is also extremely energy intensive so if it’s not truly needed don’t get one. Drinking room temperature water is not the end of the world and you can always hit the campus store for the occasional chilled juice. If a mini fridge is a must have for you, get an energy star rated one, which reduces it’s energy usage by about 50%. You can also check with your RA about a shared larger fridge, which is available at many campuses.
Light Switches Down!
This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money…that is, of course, if you can get into the habit of hitting the switch on the way out. The energy used to power your lights most likely comes from a greenhouse gas emitting source such as coal, oil, natural gas. Turning your lights off your when they are not needed will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save you money on your energy bill, but will also extend the bulb’s life, which will in turn save you money on replacement bulbs.