Conservation TipsCollege Conservation Coalition
Easy Ways To Conserve On- or Off-Campus
- Use fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent light bulbs
- Use task lighting; instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it.
- When leaving a room, turn off lights and appliances (tvs, dvd players, game systems, etc)
- Turn off computer and computer equipment (speakers, monitor, printer, etc) when not in use
- Many appliances continue to draw a small amount of power when they are switched off, such as VCR/DVD players, tvs, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances. In the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.
- Laptops use much less energy than desktop computers
- Set computers to energy efficient settings. Even Energy Star© computers and monitors only save energy when the power management features are activated.
- Studies have shown that using rechargeable batteries for products like cordless phones and PDAs is more cost effective (i.e. it saves you money!) than throwaway batteries.
- There is a common misconception that screen savers reduce energy use by monitors; they do not. Automatic switching to sleep mode or manually turning monitors off is always the better energy-saving strategy.
- Unplug battery chargers when the batteries are fully charged or the chargers are not in use. Even if the charger is not plugged into anything, it still uses electricity.
- Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
- Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks. Air-drying is recommended by clothing manufacturers for some fabrics.
- Don't over-dry your clothes.
- Dry towels and heavier cottons (like jeans) in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
- Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
- Wash and dry full loads. If you are washing a small load, use the appropriate water-level setting if possible.
- Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
- Shorten showers. Simply reducing that time by a few minutes can save hundreds of gallons of hot water per month for a family of four. Showers account for 2/3 of water heating costs. Cutting showers in half will reduce water heating costs by 33 percent.
Participate in the Dark Green Hour, and help the CCC determine how much energy can be saved!
Green Cleaning Tips
Inexpensive, green alternatives to chemicals
- Baking Soda and Water: Dust surfaces with baking soda, then scrub with a moist sponge or cloth. For stains, knead the baking soda and water into a paste and let set for a while before removing.
- Kosher Salt and Water: If you need a tougher abrasive sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
- Lemon Juice or Vinegar: For stains, mildew or grease streak, spray or douse with lemon juice or vinegar, let it sit a few minutes, then scrub with a stiff brush.
- Natural Disinfectant: To knock out germs without strong products, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil. Spray or rub on countertops and other kitchen surfaces.
- White Vinegar, Water and Newspaper: To clean windows and mirrors, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with a gallon of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on, then scrub with newspaper, not paper towels, which cause streaking. If out of vinegar or don't like its smell, substitute undiluted lemon juice or club soda.
Cleaning Carpet and Rugs:
- Beat Those Rugs: Take any removable rugs outside and beat the dust and hair out with a broom.
- Club Soda:Heard the old adage that club soda works well on carpet stains? Attack the mess right away. Lift off any solids, then liberally pour on club soda. Blot with an old rag. The soda's carbonation brings the spill to the surface, and the salts in the soda thwart staining.
- Cornmeal: For big spills, dump cornmeal on the mess, wait 5 to 15 minutes and vacuum up the gunk.
- Spot Cleaner: Make by mixing: 1/4 cup liquid soap or detergent in a blender, with 1/3 cup water. Mix until foamy. Spray on, then rinse with vinegar.
- To Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the carpet or rug, using about 1 cup per medium-sized room. Vacuum after 30 minutes.
Safer Oven Cleaner:
Conventional oven cleaning chemicals are loaded with toxic ingredients, including ethers, ethylene glycol, lye (sodium and potassium hydroxide), methylene chloride and petroleum distillates. The products are harmful to skin and eyes, and the fumes are unhealthy. Instead, go natural!
- Baking Soda and Water: Coat the inside of a dirty appliance with a paste made from water and baking soda. Let stand overnight. Then, don gloves and scour off that grime. Make spotless with a moist cloth.
Toxic chemicals like Drano pollute waterways, can cause chemical burns, and are highly dangerous if ingested. For clogged drains, use this simple solution instead:
- Baking Soda and Boiling Water (vinegar if needed): Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the problem drain, followed by 2 cups of boiling water. If that isn't doing it, chase the baking soda with a 1/2 cup of vinegar and cover tightly, allowing the vigorous fizzing of the chemical reaction to break up the gunk. Then flush that with one gallon of boiling water.