I remember the summer preparing to head off to college and going to Bed Bath and Beyond and all of the other stores and buying all of the dorm necessities that they had on their college check lists. I remember seeing that each student should buy at least 2-3 power strips to maximize their power use. I thought that they seemed unnecessary because I would only need one for the TV and all the appliances that needed to connect to it (DVD player, cable cords etc.)
As I did a little bit more shopping for dorm necessities the summer going into my sophomore year I remember that I did in fact go back and purchase about 3 more power strips. With the dorm rooms only having 3 outlets located at all different sides of the room I thought it would allow me to keep my electronics closer to me. Once I got the lay of the land freshmen year on what dorm “necessities” were actually necessities, I found myself bringing a lot more electronics to school. And more electronics means more energy use.
I decided to challenge myself by trying to cut back my energy use when I finally sat in my room one day and noticed all the ways in which I was “plugged in”. The TV, DVD player, computer charger, phone charger, ipad charger, speakers, fan, lights and much more were constantly plugged in and draining energy. Since then I have started actually putting those “much needed” power strips to better use and instead of leaving them running all day, every day I just take a few seconds out of every morning to unplug them before I leave. Unplugging my fan has been a bit more of a challenge. I’ve always used my fan as a way of drowning out outside noise and keeping my dorm room as some would say at the temperature of a meat locker. Trying to break this habit has been hard even with the post-it notes on the fan to remind me not to turn it on. With the weather getting warmer and the school not turning on the AC yet it has been tough but I am going to keep trying to beat the challenge.
If I have gone all this time with having so many electronics plugged in and constantly using energy imagine how much energy is being used on a daily basis by the 1200 or so students on campus. If we all just take the little steps needed we can certainly do the world a little bit of good as well as save the school some money on the electric bill.