We asked the 2015 Sustainable Community Leaders to introduce themselves by sharing top 10 tips for home energy savings. 

The Sustainable Community Leaders Program provides a unique opportunity for residents living in Harvard University Housing to have a direct and meaningful impact on the University’s greenhouse gas reduction goal and sustainability efforts. Our Leaders take a hands-on, creative approach toward engaging and educating Harvard’s residential community on conservation methods and personal environmental responsibility.

1. Swap CFLs for LEDs

Inga swaps out all her incandescent and CFL bulbs for LEDs in her table, desk, and floor lamps. They are 90% more efficient, contain no harmful gases, and can last up to 20 years!

2.  Change laundry settings

Mariana waits until she has a full load and then does her laundry on cold wash (BRIGHT COLOR SETTING). It not only extends the lifespan and vibrancy of her clothing it also saves 90% of the energy that would have been used to heat the water.

3. Clear vents

Joon felt that the temperature in his room didn’t match his thermostat; lo and behold he was blocking the air registers!   He moved some furniture and large items so the air could circulate more freely and improved his heating system efficiency by 25%.

4. Unplug devices

Bret does a routine check to make sure his chargers, adapters, and small appliances are all unplugged before he heads out for class. Phantom energy is the electricity that electronics pull from the outlet while plugged in, even when the device is off it can waste as much as 10% of your home’s energy.

5. Adjust temperature settings

Elina knows the University’s Temperature Policy well and sets her thermostat to 68 when she is at home and 60 when she’s away. She also keeps the fan setting to LOW. This creates a space of optimal comfort, health, and productivity.

6. Turn it off

Tom turns off EVERYTHING before heading out the door. Lights. Bathroom Vents. Computer. TV.

7. Make it easy

But he likes to make it easy on himself, so he plugs in all his computer and electronic equipment into a central power strip and then just hits the switch!

8. Manage power settings

Matt makes sure his computer isn’t wasting any unnecessary energy. He sets his power management settings to Energy Saver Mode and got rid of his screen saver. This cuts energy consumption and prolongs the computer’s battery life!

9. Use your blinds

Alaina uses her daylight wisely, by keeping drapes open during the day to let in the warm rays and closed at night to keep out drafts. Even more wisely…she has Matt help her out! 

10.  Take the stairs

Nick takes the stairs instead of the elevator. Good for his health and a good way to save some kWh!