Staff & Faculty: Things to Think About When Leaving Your Office for an Extended Break

As you prepare to leave your office for an extended break – for travel, sabbatical, research, winter shutdown, etc – take a couple of minutes to reduce your impact with a few simple steps:

  • Turn down the heat. If you have control over the heat in your room/common areas, turn it down to save energy before you leave.
  • Prevent heat loss through lights, windows, and curtains: Turn off lights, close windows and storm sashes, and shut curtains to reduce heat loss through the glass. (This tip is courtesy of Facilities from their Winter Shutdown Information.)
  • Unplug devices and appliances in your office  Even if they’re turned off, your electronics still use energy while plugged in. Make sure to unplug your computer, printer, copier, lamps, etc.  If you use a power strip, remember to turn it off.  (If you don’t use a power strip, check out this student blogpost about how they can reduce your energy use.)
  • If you have a mini fridge, unplug and empty it After unplugging your mini fridge, make sure to eat, compost, or dispose of any leftover food. You’ll thank yourself later if you also clean the fridge!
  • Donate extra t-shirts  Clean and gently used clothing can be donated to benefit ABC Greylock in the built-in containers at the back of Paresky (near the Park Street entrance).*
  • Help wayward dishes make it back to the dining halls. You’ve seen the Dish Return Bins around campus all semester and you’ve probably heard the slogan Bring it Back!  Please help the custodial teams and dining services by collecting rogue dishes and depositing them in one of the many Dish Return Bins around campus. No sharp knives should be placed in the bins.
  • BONUS:  Give Up Your Trash Can  Consider getting on the Ditch-Your-Trash-Can bandwagon to reduce plastic in the waste stream.  Follow the link to learn more.)

*(At the end of the spring semester, they can also be donated in the Give It Up storage containers scattered around campus. OIT also runs a computer recycling program for students, staff, & faculty called Green Up on May 29, 30 and 31 this year. Printers, monitors and computer peripherals are accepted. Do not bring household items like TVs, VCRs, Microwaves, etc. Read more on their website.)

Also take 2 minutes to treat yourself to the following student video (from Jamal Meneide ’19) about Bring it Back!