As summer draws to a close, the excitement of a new school year begins to take over. New books and the promise of knowledge fills the air. But with the return to school also comes the return of energy consumption, as classrooms, dorm rooms, and homes gear up for a busy academic year. This year, let's make a conscious effort to not only excel in our studies but also excel in our energy-saving habits. Here are some back-to-school energy saving tips that will not only benefit the environment but also your wallet:
One of the easiest ways to save energy is by optimizing your lighting choices in the classroom and at home. Use natural light whenever possible by keeping blinds open. When artificial lighting is needed, choose energy-efficient LED bulbs that consume significantly less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Before heading to school each day, make it a habit to unplug electronics such as chargers, laptops, and small appliances. Even when turned off, these devices often continue to draw power, contributing to "phantom" energy consumption.
Set Thermostats Wisely
Adjust thermostats to conserve energy during school hours. Lower the temperature in winter and raise it during warmer temperatures when rooms are unoccupied. If you're in a dorm or shared living space, communicate with your roommates to find a comfortable and energy-efficient temperature setting.
Embrace Natural Ventilation
In mild weather, take advantage of natural ventilation instead of relying solely on air conditioning or heating. Open windows to let in fresh air and regulate the indoor temperature naturally.
Use Power Strips
Group electronics like computers, printers, and chargers on power strips. This allows you to easily turn off multiple devices at once when they're not in use, preventing them from consuming standby power.
Practice Efficient Laundry Habits
Laundry is a necessary chore, but it can also be an energy-intensive one. Use cold water for washing clothes, and try to do full loads to make the most of each wash cycle. If your school has laundry facilities, coordinate schedules with your classmates to ensure machines are used efficiently. Bonus tip, running your electric washer and dryer is more expensive in the evening than during the morning or day.
Choose Eco-Friendly School Supplies
Opt for eco-friendly school supplies made from recycled materials. From notebooks to backpacks, there are numerous environmentally conscious options available that help reduce the demand for new resources.
Reduce Printing and Paper Waste
Reduce your energy consumption by taking notes on paper and hard copy books. If you need to print, use double-sided printing and only print what's truly necessary. In addition, use used books instead of buying new books to not only save energy, but also money.
Join or Start Energy-Saving Clubs
Many schools have energy-saving clubs or initiatives focused on raising awareness about energy conservation. Joining or starting such a club can be a great way to engage with like-minded individuals and contribute to a greener campus.
Advocate for Energy Efficiency
Raise awareness about energy-saving practices among your peers and teachers. Encourage your school administration to invest in energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure, such as energy-efficient lighting, insulation, and heating/cooling systems.
As you gear up for another exciting school year, remember that small actions can add up to make a big difference. By incorporating these energy-saving tips into your daily routine, you'll not only reduce your carbon footprint but also inspire those around you to adopt more sustainable habits. Let this be the year that you not only excel academically but also make a positive impact on the environment.