5 Ways College Students Can Be Energy Efficient While Living on Campus

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College campus

As a college student, conserving energy may not be your number one priority. But being energy efficient while living in on campus is easier than you think. These simple tips can make a huge impact on our environment and help your campus become more eco-friendly!

1. Unplug your electronics. Shutting off your television and laptop are great ways to conserve energy, however, you can go one step further: unplug devices when not in use. According to Just Energy, many electronics draw power even when they’re switched off (called “vampire power”), so the quick action of unplugging can help conserve lots of energy.

2. Let your clothes air dry. After washing a load of laundry, hang your clothes so they can air dry. A typical dryer uses around 3,000 watts per hour. This means that letting even one load of your clothes air dry instead of using a dryer is equivalent to avoiding approximately 5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Even though air drying your clothes during the winter may not be logical, simply letting your clothes dry until they become damp and then using the dryer will still conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

3. Turn off the water. Most people leave the water running while they brush their teeth or shave. Instead, before brushing your teeth fill a small cup with water, shut off the faucet and use the cup when you’re ready to rinse. When shaving, fill the sink with water and turn the faucet off until it’s time for your final rinse. By keeping the faucet off, you can save approximately 3 gallons of water each time you brush or shave. 

4. Exercise outside. Changing your exercise habits to include the outdoors is an easy way to become more energy efficient. When people exercise at a gym, lots of energy is consumed by treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers and more. Doing cardio outdoors instead of on a machine is an easy way to conserve energy. Even though your campus may have a newly renovated exercise facility, nothing beats being outside on a nice day.

5. Buy ENERGY STAR qualified products.  If you’re in need of a mini-fridge, television, laptop or air conditioning unit, shop with energy efficiency in mind. When looking for these items, make sure they are ENERGY STAR qualified, as these appliances will use half as much energy as regular appliances. All ENERGY STAR labeled products use less energy, save you money, help protect the environment and are easy to recognize because of the handy ENERGY STAR label.

These energy efficiency tips are simple ways in which you can make a difference on our environment. Solving problems like pollution and minimizing energy waste cannot be solved overnight, however these five tips are steps in the right direction. By being energy efficient on campus, you can show your roommates, friends, classmates, faculty and even administration things we can all do to better our environment.

College campus image by dailymatador via Flickr Creative Commons license.

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