Tips for Life Off-Campus

Live Sustainably and Save Money!

Here is a list of cost free ways to help save money on your utility bills courtesy of the Office of Sustainability. Choose a few that will impact your house or be a star and go for all of them!

  1. Close drapes, blinds and shades when the sun is not shining. Keeping window coverings closed acts as insulation against cold outside air.
  2. Open drapes, blinds and shades on sunny days and let the warmth of the sun help heat your apartment.
  3. Shut heating and air conditioning off in unused rooms if possible and be sure to close all closet doors.
  4. Open doors to rooms that are being used.
  5. Do not block heating or cooling outlets with furniture, drapes or pictures. This includes cold air return registers.
  6. If you have a fireplace, close the damper when not in use or block the opening with a removable cover.
  7. Avoid unnecessary loss of energy to the outside by not opening outside doors and windows more than necessary.
  8. Inspect the furnace and air conditioner filter monthly and change it when it is dirty.
  9. Clean warm air registers and return grills regularly during the heating season.
  10. During the winter, set your thermostat at the lowest setting that is sweater comfortable. A maximum daytime setting that is recommended is 65º F, with 55º F at night. EACH DEGREE HIGHER CAN ADD 3% TO YOUR HEATING BILL! Some lease agreements have a minimum heat setting which you should be aware of in relation to your heating choices.
  11. Avoid frequent changes of your thermostat setting as this can add to your heating and cooling costs.
  12. Place the fan selector switch on your thermostat to automatic.
  13. Take shorter and cooler showers. A shower uses less hot water than a bath.
  14. When shaving, partially fill the basin with hot water rather than letting the water run continuously.
  15. If you have a dishwasher, wash only full loads.
  16. If you are washing dishes by hand, turn the hot water faucet off between rinses or use a pan of hot water as a dip rinse.
  17. Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  18. Clean lighting fixtures regularly.
  19. Check to be sure that dirt has not accumulated on coils and condenser, located in the back and underneath the refrigerator. Vacuum to remove dirt.
  20. Cover everything in the refrigerator. Warm or hot foods should be covered and allowed to cool 20 minutes before refrigeration.
  21. Open and close the refrigerator and freezer doors only when necessary. Do not stand with the door open.
  22. Refrigerate only foods that require it.
  23. Keep refrigerator temperature at 30 to 40º F and freezer temperature at 0º F for best operation.
  24. Defrost the freezer when the ice is 1/2" thick.
  25. Use a medium or low flame. Cooking seldom requires a high flame and then only for a short time.
  26. Preheat the oven only when it is necessary, and then set it to the temperature you intend to use. When preheating is necessary, allow the oven to warm up no more than 5 to 7 minutes.
  27. When cooking vegetables, use as little water as possible and cover the sauce pan to speed cooking.
  28. Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or on top of a counter, not in a warm oven or boiling water.
  29. Save energy with no effort by enabling your computer's energy-saving features.
  30. Turn off computers and monitors when not in use for an hour or more.
  31. Computers and related components like printers use electricity even when they are not in use. Plug each computer component into a power bar that can be shut off, to avoid wasting electricity with the ‘standby’ power feature.
  32. Be sure to at least shut off the computer screen, as 60% of the power used by a computer is used by the monitor (this is true for CRT or "box-style" monitors). The other 40% is used to keep your hard drive spinning and to power the electronics.
  33. Unplug the adapter for your laptop when it is not charging.
  34. Use a pail of water to wash you car and then rinse with the hose.


Consider an Off-Campus Meal Plan

Culinary Services provides a variety of flexible meal plan options for Off-Campus Students. From block plans for those who just want to be able to enjoy a few meals each semester in a campus dining facility, to more expansive plans for those who prefer the convenience of eating on campus frequently. More information on the plans available can be found here.

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