Sustainable actions are best practiced with acute awareness of your surroundings, a desire to learn, and a dedication to change. Once you have a comprehensive understanding of the impact your everyday decisions can have on our environment, it will be easy to adopt sustainable practices as lifelong habits. If you would like to learn how to incorporate sustainability in ways that are not only concerned with energy conservation, please take a look at our Top 10 Actions list.
Here are some additional ways that you can reduce your consumption of natural resources and promote energy conservation:
Turn the lights off.
Leaving the lights on a room when it is not in use, or excessively using lighting for a task that could be done without it, are two of the main ways electricity is wasted. The next time you leave a room, check to make sure the light is switched off. If something you are doing requires lighting, try to see if you can still comfortably accomplish the task with less lighting. This may be turning off the overhead light and opting for task-lighting.
Tip: Task-lighting is a healthier alternative to bright, fluorescent lighting. It can improve your mood and decrease eye fatigue from harsh lighting. If you're shopping around for a nice task-light, consider shopping at Grizz's Garage Sale before heading to Target.
Turn off your computer and monitor.
If you have a desktop computer, set your timer so that the monitor shuts off after five minutes and your computer goes into "hibernate" after twenty minutes.
Tip: Don't be fooled by screen "savers". With the new technology present in computer monitors, they do not save anything and end up wasting electricity.
Unplug your chargers.
If you have a laptop computer, unplug it and the charger from the wall after it is done charging. Although leaving it on the charging port for a long period of time (ie: overnight) does not harm your battery life, electricity is still being pulled from the wall and wasted as heat. This can also be applied to phone chargers.
Tip: To make this action easier, consider purchasing a "smart" power strip. Smart power strips have either a switch to turn them off manually, or a timer that allows you to set a shut-off time.
Ditch the car.
Biking and walking to campus are sustainable alternatives to using a vehicle for your commute. With more than twenty bike racks and storage rooms on campus, as well as two bike service stations, bringing your two-wheeled ride to campus is a safe and practical alternative. If you are not able to bike and must use a vehicle, consider taking the bus or carpool.
Tip: If you have a long bike commute, use the showers in the Fitness Center to warm up after a cold ride or freshen up before class.