It’s National Energy Saving Week. Every day we go about our lives increasing our carbon footprint through normal activities, from driving to get McDonald’s to accidentally leaving unused lamps plugged in.
According to the Office of Sustainability, UCCS itself spends about $2 million each year on electricity and natural gas use, making up two-thirds of campus’ greenhouse gas emissions. There are a lot of things students can do to decrease UCCS’ carbon footprint, even from the comfort of the dorms.
Turning off your lights when they’re not being used is an easy way to conserve energy. During the day, open your blinds to let natural light in. When the sun finally sets, if you’re not using your lights, make sure to turn them off, whether you’re going to a fun event or just going to get dinner.
Another way to conserve electricity is to unplug unused items, like lamps and phone chargers. A lot of the time, we leave these small devices plugged in when we go to dinner or class. However, these little items still use electricity when we go out, even if they’re not turned on.
If you really want to conserve the most electricity you can, try sharing a refrigerator with your roommates instead of buying your own. Many students are tempted to buy personal mini-fridges, even with roommates, but they are energy costly. Most refrigerators use high amounts of energy, so by sharing one with your roommates, you all can conserve a large amount of electricity.
For other conservation efforts, consider using alternatives to driving around campus. By riding your bike, skateboard, scooter or just walking to your destination, you minimize the amount of fossil fuels put out by cars and the UCCS shuttles.
Taking short, cold showers also reduces the use of natural gas energy for water heating while saving water at the same time. You can also wash your clothes using a cold water cycle.
Students can reduce the amount of energy used by UCCS every year. Whether it’s something small like turning off the bathroom light when you leave the room to sharing a refrigerator with your roommates, if we work together, we can conserve energy. Every little bit of saved energy counts toward a healthier environment.
Photo caption: The third week of October is National Energy Saving Week. Photo by Lillian Davis.