Energy and Water Saving Tips

For UTakeCharge to have an impact, we encourage students, faculty and staff to change their daily habits related to energy and water usage.

On Campus

  • Computers — turn off monitors when not in use and activate the sleep mode. About 10% of our energy use comes from computers and related equipment.
  • Turn off the lights when you're the last person to leave a room.
  • Unplug electronics such as cell phones and laptops once they are charged. Adapters plugged into outlets use energy even when they are not charging.
  • Limit showers to five minutes. Or, take a cold shower to get energized for class!
  • Report water leaks in restrooms or break areas to your maintenance zone.
  • See the Campus Environmental Center Web site for more campus tips.

At Home

  • Turn off lights you're not currently using.
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.
  • Keep your air conditioning/heating system set at 78°F for cooling and 68°F for heating.
  • Replace your manual air conditioning/heating thermostat with a digital, programmable type in order to maintain a more accurate temperature setpoint and take advantage of unoccupied periods by using programmed higher/lower temperature setpoints. In cooling mode, every degree the thermostat is moved up can reduce energy consumed by the a/c by about 2-5%.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead.
  • Check your toilet for leaks by putting drops of food coloring in the tank at night. If the water in the bowl has color in it, you have a leak. Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the flapper could save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.
  • Replace old toilets with high-efficiency toilets that use only 1.28 gallons with each flush. Or, reduce the amount of water your toilet uses by displacing water in the tank with a brick or plastic bottle partially filled with sand.
  • Run only full loads when operating dishwashers and washing machines.
  • When manually washing dishes or clothes, don't leave water running.
  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model.
  • Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing.
  • Keep air vents clear of paper, files and furnishings. It takes as much as 25% more energy to pump air into a room if the vents are blocked.
  • See the Campus Environmental Center Web site for more at home tips.


Power Down When You're Out of the Office!

Use this checklist to save energy while you are away from the workplace.


Bring Your Green To Work

Download ENERGY STAR poster (pdf)


Save Energy at Home

Get up-to-date information on ways to reduce energy use in your home from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.


National Geographic suggests ways to make your home more "green."