Sustainable Seawolf: Energy efficiency at home

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The words “energy efficient” have become buzzwords in recent years, with many large companies signing agreements to become more energy efficient. But what does it really mean to be efficient in the way that we use energy? For those large companies, it often means huge overhauls in production that cut out toxic waste or smog contribution.

For small households, the idea of becoming energy efficient seems overwhelming. Many people think of complicated things like solar panels, which can be impractical in a small rental space. Luckily, there are several ways that you can maximize the energy that your home uses, even as a college student.

Lower your thermostat

We have officially entered the season of road trips and camping. Most people walk out the front door and leave their house as is while they go off on adventures, but one thing that could make a big difference is lowering your thermostat by several degrees. You won’t need it to be running normally while you’re gone, and it takes less energy to keep your home at 65 degrees than it does to keep it at 75 degrees.

Use blankets, not space heaters

In apartments with poor heating, many people are quick to turn on a space heater to warm up during cold or rainy days. Constant use of a space heater can suck up a lot more energy than most people want. A better option to turn to is a quality blanket. Affordable throw blankets from the store are often inferior and don’t hold in heat well. Invest in a quality blanket or comforter that you can use to stay warm, and save the space heater for truly cold days.

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Unplug cables

Most people leave electronics plugged in year-round, even when they only need to use them for a few moments each day. Toasters, chargers, TV’s…all of these continue to use energy even when they are technically in “off” mode. Unplug these during the day. Keep charger cables in convenient drawers close to their most used outlets for quick access.

Replace desktops with laptops

Most students, at some point in their college life, will have to replace an old computer. Laptops take less energy than desktop computers, and can often be used for the same purposes. They make it easier to take notes during class and allow students to study in diverse locations. Specialized gaming laptops can run hefty programs that take a lot of space, and can do it while still saving some energy.

These tips can allow students, especially those renting apartments, to become more conscious of their energy use. While they may seem trivial, they can make a large impact when done across the nation.

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