How to Go Green: Conserving Energy
Conserving energy can be as simple as the flip of a switch. Your everyday actions play a critical role in the University of Mississippi’s commitment to the principles of sustainability and resource stewardship. These simple tips provide a starting point for living green by conserving energy.
- Turn off the lights when leaving a room unoccupied. Use natural light where appropriate.
- Compact fluorescent bulbs should be used instead of halogen or incandescent bulbs. Read more about energy saving light bulbs here.
- Dress for the appropriate season and find your heating and cooling comfort zone. Most people can be comfortable at a temperature of 78°F inside during the summer. Instead of reducing your air conditioner’s temperature setting to a chilling 72 degrees, find your comfort setting by raising it one degree at a time to see how warm it can be before you become uncomfortable. The higher you set your thermostat (in summer months), the more energy you’ll save. Read more here.
Recommended energy-saving seasonal temperature settings
- Space Heaters. If you need to use a space heater, there are some considerations to keep in mind.
- Energy efficiency. Heaters that rely on radiant heating, which means they emit infrared radiation that directly heats up objects and people that are within their line of sight, are a more efficient choice because they work to heat the person or objects in the room instead of the entire room. Choose a radiant heater for the office because you usually remain within the line of sight of the heater while at your desk.
- Safety is another top consideration when choosing a space heater. The Department of Energy recommends the following considerations:
- Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater has the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label attached to it.
- Choose a thermostatically controlled heaters, since they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
- Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
- Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic.
For more information on space heaters, click here.
With the O.U.T. bus and the many bike lanes and routes, it has become easier than ever to get around town without a car.
- Oxford University Transit (O.U.T.) – The City of Oxford now has a free public transportation system that includes two bus routes. The Blue Route comes on campus to drop off and pick up passengers near the Student Union. The buses pass most stops every 30 minutes. For a complete route map, route schedule, and the latest information, visit: http://oxfordms.net/visitors/oxford-university-transit.
- Biking in Oxford – The city of Oxford has made a dedicated effort to become a safe place to bike and walk. The Oxford Pathways Commission was formed to plan, create, and enhance bike and pedestrian routes. Their hard work was recently recognized when the League of American Bicyclists designated Oxford a Bicycle Friendly Community at the bronze level. For more information including a map of existing routes, visit http://www.loupathways.org/.
- Power down. Turn computers, printers, speakers, scanners and other peripherals off at the end of the day or when they will not be in use for an hour or more.
- Monitors. Adjust the brightness on computer monitors to the dimmest setting appropriate for viewing.
- Screen savers. Instead of using a screen saver that consumes more power, change the setting to have the screen go blank when not in use for short periods of time.
- Printing. Set printers to use both sides of the paper when printing as a default. Print only what is necessary. Ask yourself before you print if it is really necessary.
Energy Efficient Products
ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR label helps consumers recognize which products are truly energy efficient according to strict standards set by the EPA and Department of Energy. These products save money over the long-term and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and as such are preferable to those products without the label. Products recognized with the ENERGY STAR label should be purchased where applicable.
For more information about the program and to find products, visit the Energy Star website.
To get more information on the many ways to incorporate ENERGY STAR at work, view the interactive cubicle here.