Here are a few simple ways to cut electricity usage:
Turn it off! The easiest and most obvious way to save electricity is to turn things off! Leaving the room? Turn your lights off. Not using your microwave? Unplug it! You get the idea.
Use a power strip. You’ve probably heard it before, but chargers, electronics, and other things you plug into an outlet drain power even when they are not in use or are switched off. To avoid this “phantom load” or “vampire” phenomenon, just plug everything into a power strip and shut the strip off when you don’t need it. If you won’t remember to turn it off, you can even get a Smart Strip that will automatically turn off certain plugs when one main device (such as a computer) is turned off or unplugged.
Manage your computer. Screen savers DO NOT save electricity, so set your computer to go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity. Also, shutting down your computer at night can save 40 kilowatt hours over the course of a year (enough to pop 600 bags of popcorn!) and it actually reduces wear and tear on your computer.
Share a fridge. Mini-fridges are notoriously inefficient, often accounting for as much as 50% of electricity usage in dorm rooms! They are actually more efficient when they are full, so share a fridge with friends and unplug yours!
Take initiative in common spaces. Once you’ve mastered your own room, help out your dorm mates by turning off lights, TVs, and anything else that might be left on unnecessarily in lounges and other common spaces when they are not in use.
Line dry laundry. Drying a load of laundry in the dryer uses about 3.75 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is like leaving on an overhead light for 37.5 hours! So skip the dryer and use a drying rack!
Use common spaces and hang out with friends! Studying or just hanging out in common spaces or in someone’s room where the lights are going to be on anyway lets you turn off everything in your room and save energy while still being productive (or social)!
Do you have any other electricity-saving tricks up your sleeve? Leave a comment to share your tips with us!