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College-bound students can reduce their dorm room carbon footprint

8/1/2017 3:05:16 PM

If you're getting ready to go to college soon, consider a few tips to make your dorm room or apartment both more comfortable and eco-friendly.

SmarterHouse, a project of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), offers a campaign called “Shrink Your Dorm Print” to help students reduce their carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle on campus. 

The Minnesota Commerce Department, which includes the state's energy office, offers a few energy-saving tips from the campaign:

  • Buy LED lighting. LEDs use a fraction of the energy of incandescent lights, last a lot longer and look the same. 
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR® products, such as laptops and tablets, power strips and mini-fridges. ENERGY STAR products are certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. 
  • Stream smarter. Stream media using tablets or smart TVs rather than energy-guzzling game consoles. 
  • Give your laptop a rest. Select the automatic turn-off setting to reduce energy use when your laptop sits idle. 
  • Use a power strip. An advanced power strip or surge protector makes it much easier to turn off electronics when they’re not in use. Plug all electronics into this strip and simply turn it off when you leave. 
  • Always turn off lights when they’re not needed. 
  • Wash clothes using full loads on a cold setting. 
  • Close windows when using air conditioning or heating

As more college students embrace these small lifestyle changes, it can add up to large reductions in energy use, helping help colleges and universities achieve their energy-saving goals. 

Many colleges have taken steps to substantially reduce energy consumption, and they’re empowering students to play a big role in this effort. For instance, the University of Denver has a Green Room Certification program to help students adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives. Learn more about “Shrink Your Dorm Print” and additional resources students can tap to save energy. 

/commerce/media/newsletters/index.jspMinnesota Energy Tips is provided twice a month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. If you have an energy question, contact the Commerce Department's Energy Information Center at energy.info@state.mn.us or 800-657-3710.

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