March 31, 2008

Where Does Your Dorm Rank Part II

The College Committee on Sustainability recently released statistics for the amount of energy used by each dorm. Now they are declaring April "Dorm Energy Challenge Month" and encouraging each dorm to cut down on electricity use.

The following is from the Committee:

Lowering electricity use helps to save money, slow global warming and reduce Vassar's carbon footprint. The winning dorm receives a GRAND PRIZE! (a local foods dorm dinner and a donation to the dorm budget presented by Cappy herself!!!).

Top 10 Ways to reduce electricity use:
1. Turn off lights when you leave your room.
2. Unplug your laptop and run off the battery whenever possible.
4. Turnoff computers overnight and when not in use.
5. Turn down your refrigerator a degree or two.
6. Switch in CFLs (available for free from Reslife).
7. Use less dryer time by combining loads and air drying.
8. Unplug chargers, TVs, VCRs, video game systems, computers, printers, etc... when not in use to stop "phantom" energy flow.
9. Make your computer more energy efficient by turning on automatic sleep/hibernation mode.
10. REDUCE overall use of electronic devices:
- Unplug unnecessary electronics like decorative christmas tree lights.
- Open your shades to use more natural "day" lighting in place of electric lamps.
- Go outside instead of watching TV or playing video games (after all Spring is on its way!).
- Get your friend to play their acoustic guitar instead of listening to music through a computer/iPod and speakers.


Yes, we're aware that #3 is missing.


Anonymous said...

"Unplug your laptop and run off the battery whenever possible." This is a bad tip, as it will result in more energy use. It takes more power to charge a battery than to just run a computer. Say you run a computer for an hour. If you use a battery, energy is needed not only for the charge to run the computer, but also a surplus charge necessary to charge the battery. If you leave the laptop plugged in, energy is only needed to run the computer. Furthermore, the more often someone uses the battery, the faster the battery wears down, and eventually must be disposed of. Batteries contain harmful substances like lead and mercury, and frequently are not disposed of properly.

Respire said...

If you read the above and are curious about laptop battery recycling:

If you buy a new battery from them, they'll take your old one and recycle it.

sarah said...

the list was edited and re-sent out without the battery tip

Anonymous said...

This contest would be nice if it weren't so flawed. First off, each dorm has a different number of students and rooms, so they'd have to take that into account. Next, the age and quality of the electrical wiring in all the buildings is different (i.e. jewett has the newest, probably most efficient wiring). Finally, it is impossible for Main building to win because there is only one electrical meter for Main, and that includes both the dorm part of main and the administrative part, the retreat, the college center, etc.