By: Stone Irr, Previous Intern for IU Office of Sustainability
Fall is among us and you know what that means. Of course, that means there will be more sweaters worn and more hot chocolate consumed. But fall also means that it is time for the IU Energy Challenge, occurring from October 6th until November 7th.
The IU Office of Sustainability holds a bi-annual Energy Challenge in both spring and fall semesters. This challenge’s purpose is to instill conservation habits within the residents and faculty living within and utilizing RPS Residence Halls and Apartments, Greek Houses, Administrative Buildings, Classrooms and Laboratories all across the IU campus. These small changes in behavior add up quickly in terms of diverted energy-usage and utility expenses.
Last spring semester, all buildings that participated in this challenge saved 243,174 kilowatt hours of electricity—which equates to the annual electricity usage of over 200 homes. IU also saved a total of 822,174 gallons of water—which equates to 5.2 million 20 ounce of bottles of water.
So how can you get involved in participating in the IU Energy Challenge? Reassess your daily energy use! Think through of which inconspicuous activities and habits could be altered in order to reduce your carbon footprint and energy use. In a university with over 40,000 students and faculty—small changes in our habits can create significant differences in our energy and water usage when collectively practiced. Here are some tips for participating in the challenge!
-Turn off all appliances and chargers when not in use
-If you reside in a residence hall, Green Certify your room!
-Set refrigerators at 38-42 degrees
-Only wash full loads of laundry (in cold water) and air-dry clothing
-Turn off water when while brushing teeth and soaping up in the show (Sailor Showers)
-Turn off lights after leaving every room
-Open your blinds and make use of natural light or naturally lit areas
-For students in the Residence Halls, studying outside in your hallways to reduce individual use of lighting in your room.
-Take the stairs instead of the elevator!
–Host or create an event to raise awareness of the IU Energy Challenge and energy conservation habits!
–Make a bulletin board in your residence hall or workspace highlighting the IU Energy Challenge.