Friday, November 20, 2015

December 2015 Green Tip: Curtailment At Home and Away

Even as the Cool Campus Challenge draws to a close, it’s important to keep up the good work as the UC system strives towards carbon neutrality. Whether you’re traveling over the break or staying in town, make sure to stick to your pledges and stay sustainable! This December, try out these tips to curtail your energy usage, resource use, and carbon footprint.

Image by John Loo

If you’re leaving town:
  • Unplug appliances, including Wi-Fi routers, refrigerators, microwaves, and lamps. Also consider using a power strip to reduce energy drain of many appliances at once.
  • Close windows and blinds to insulate your room or house.
  • Shut off or lower your thermostat if you have one. A good temperature to have your thermostat at while you’re out of the house is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Wear your warm clothing inside as well.
No matter where you are:
  • Check for leaks in faucets and toilets. If you live on campus and find one before you leave, file a maintenance request.
  • Seal air leaks or file a maintenance request to reduce heating needs. Often, drafts under doors can be reduced by laying a rolled up bath towel in front of the door gap.

Also, keep in mind these holiday tips:

Cut down on oils and grease. Fats, oils and grease can pose health hazards if thrown out with the dishwater or if poured down the drain. An excess in the sewer system can even result in sewage overflow leading to harmful effects on aquatic life as well as human well-being. If you do cook with these, make sure to pour the excess into a non-recyclable container, wait for it to solidify, and throw it in the trash rather than down the drain.

Reduce gift waste. Giving gifts? Try to reduce the amount of plastic packaging, or go for gifts that use materials other than plastic. Opt for unpackaged products or those packaged in cardboard and reusable or recyclable packaging. Hope to get gifts? Keep or recycle your wrapping paper and boxes! Both can be reused for future gifting or various craft projects. Check out our previous Green Tips about gift-giving here.

And, as with every vacation, try to carpool or take a bus whenever possible to cut down on carbon emissions. Safe travels to everyone leaving town and a happy vacation to all!

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