Friday, November 16, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Rejoice: Green Holiday Tips

The holidays are coming and along with the holiday cheer comes increased energy use, transportation and waste in general. During the holiday season, we may be scrambling to get out of our dorms and houses to head home. Once home we might rush to get a last minute ingredient or present. In your mad rush, don't forget about energy conservation and other wasteful habits that have an impact on our environment. Take only what you'll eat to avoid food waste at meals, consider the sources and life-cycle for gifts you buy, and consider buying less stuff! (watch the Story of Stuff). Here and below are some additional tips for going green this holiday as well as some sobering statistics to help motivate you to find ways to integrate sustainability into your holiday rituals.

Before you head home, remember: 

  • There will be a planned electrical shutdown on campus and could be power outages over break, so remember to unplug all appliances, electronics, and shut off power strips. Be sure to empty mini-fridges, unplug, and leave the door ajar. 
  • Close windows and blinds to prevent major heat and cool fluxes. 
  • Empty trash and recycling in proper receptacles. 
  • Please respect the campus closure dates. Our campus plans for energy savings during campus closures-- please help us keep our energy use down during those dates.

Once home: 

  • Shut curtains and lower your blinds for extra insulation. 
  • If you have a programmable thermostat and you'll be out of the house, turn it to 60 degrees. Keep it a little lower than you're comfortable with in short sleeves when you're home and supplement with layers and blankets. 
  • Make sure to check faucets for leaks and tighten them before you leave your house for holiday or winter festivities 
Also remember that energy conservation is important year-round! If you would like to get involved in doing energy assessments and finding ways to reduce energy use on-campus, check out PowerSave Green Campus or the Green Office Certification Program if you'd like to have your office's waste and energy assessed.

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