Week Two: Take Action Now that you are aware of your habits, make time for improvement! Try all of the below that apply over the course of this week.

  • If your space gets decent natural light, try leaving your electrical lights off on the next sunny day.
  • Turn your lights off every time you leave a space, including public spaces like classrooms and bathrooms (when they are empty). Even if the light is on a motion sensor, press the button and turn it off yourself. Motion sensors may take anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours to shut off automatically.
  • Have a personal fridge? Try using a communal refrigerator for a week. Maybe it's a better option than you thought. If you really need your own personal refrigerator, make sure it is as efficient as possible:1) Keep it full! The emptier a fridge is the harder it is working. And if it's always pretty empty, do you really need it? If you're just bringing lunch, get an insulated lunch bag and an ice pack. Save energy and floor space! 2) Keep the area above and around it clear. If you wedge your refrigerator between furniture or boxes, and then pile papers on top of it, you are creating a warm cozy nook for it - which will make it have to work extra hard to keep cool.
  • Unplug appliances when you leave for the day. Have several? Plug them all into a power strip. One button shuts them all down.
  • Shut off your computer, monitor and desk top printers every day before you leave.

Central heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be annoying, and even more so when they are confusing. Try the below to increase your understanding, and maybe even your comfort.

  • Get the facts about your temperature control. Contact Energy Specialists Morris Trimmer (mtrimmer@wlu.edu) and Jane Stewart (jcstewart@wlu.edu) for details about how the heating and cooling in your space works and whether or not there are options for customizing conditions in your area.
  • Using a space heater? This can actually raise the temperature in a room enough to kick on the air conditioner -the opposite of what you want. Plus space heaters use lots of energy and can be fire hazards. Talk with Energy Specialists about better options for taking the chill off.
  • Completed this week's portion of the challenge but still thirsty for more? Request an Energy Tour! Go behind the scenes (or into the basement mechanical room) to see up close how our buildings are heated and cooled AND how your actions make a significant difference (one way or the other). Stick with a private peek at the mechanicals in your building, or broaden your perspective all the way to the Central Plant. Contact Morris or Jane to arrange.