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Sustainability

Energy Efficiency

  • Turn off your lights whenever you leave. (Turning on and off lights does not waste more power than leaving them on. That’s a myth.)
  • Take advantage of natural light! Open the shades during the day for lighting and heating your room or office, close them at night to keep heat in.
  • Be sure to use only Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs in all your lights. They use 75% less energy than incandescents (normal bulbs) and last 10 times longer. There is now a much wider selection of styles and sizes of CFL bulbs than there was several years ago. Even if you were disappointed with CFL’s before, it’s worth trying them again.
  • Turn off lights in bathrooms and common areas. Talk to suite-mates, floor-mates, and coworkers about keeping the lights off when nobody is using common areas.
  • Keep your thermostat at 68-70 degrees. If you feel cold at that temperature, makes sure to wear warm socks and either a turtleneck or a scarf.
  • Turn your computer off when you aren’t using it. Contrary to what you might have heard, turning your computer off when you aren’t using it is not bad for its hardware.
  • Set your computer and monitor to go into sleep / stand by when they’re inactive for too long. A computer in sleep mode uses about 5% the energy of one running a “screen saver”. You can find instructions for enabling power management at the Williams College Office For Information Technology’s green computing page.
  • Beware of Vampires! ‘Vampire’ devices draw power even when they are not being used. These include anything with an adapter or charger such as cell phone chargers, lap top cords, printers, speakers… The best thing to do is keep such devices on a power strip and turn the strip off when you’re not using it.
  • Avoid unneeded personal refrigerators. Can you share a refrigerator with your roommate, entry, dorm, or office? If you decide that you really need one, purchase an energy star refrigerator and set the temperature to between 36 and 42 degrees. Empty it out and unplug it during breaks and vacations.
  • Wash clothes on the cold water (or “bright colors”) setting to save energy and help your clothes last longer.
  • Clean out the lint trap on the dryer before every load to improve air circulation.
  • Wash and dry full loads
  • Air dry clothing on a clothes line or drying rack.