Electronic equipment, including computers and laptops, consume a significant amount of wasted energy when left on during vacation or while you aren’t in the office. In addition, on hot summer days, the electric grid can easily become overwhelmed with increased energy demand leading to blackouts and other challenges.

Here are four actions you can take before you leave for vacation to save energy and contribute to a healthier planet:

1. Turn off your computers, laptops, and monitors

2. Turn up the thermostat by a few degrees, where applicable

3. Close window shades and blinds, and turn off the lights

4. Unplug unnecessary electronic devices, including laboratory equipment, toasters, chargers, etc…

Harvard employees play an important role in helping us achieve the University’s sustainability commitments, including the goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2016. By taking these simple steps, we can all work together to help Harvard conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions, and build a healthier community.