Op-Ed: New Paltz Climate Coalition – Feb. 25

To the SUNY New Paltz Community:

It’s always a good time for energy-saving tips that are easy enough for us all to use (even those of us in dorms), but they’re especially important during the winter months when electricity usage often skyrockets.

Here are a few easy tips for us to keep in mind (and discuss with our roommates):

It’s SHOWer Time: While it’s easy to sing, zone out or lose track of time in the shower, few of us are dirty enough that we need more than a couple of minutes under running water.

Water’s “cool”… but to heat it requires a lot of energy. While most of us would prefer to not take a cold shower (especially in the middle of winter!), by lowering the water temperature even a few degrees, we can save lots of energy.

A Real Turn-off!  While brushing your teeth or shaving, turn off the water. In the fraction of a second that it takes to turn the faucet, we can save our planet’s most precious resource.

Put your computer to Sleep…zzzzz: If you walk away from your computer when you’re not ready to turn it off, don’t assume that even a newer computer will automatically go into sleep mode.

Both PC and Mac users can adjust their settings so the computer automatically goes to sleep after five minutes (or more). PCs can go to the Control Panel and look for “Power Options,” and Macs have an “Energy Saver” setting (also found in the Control Panel).

And of course, we can all “turn off” when we’re done.

Fire Your Dryer! A clothes dryer uses more energy than any other appliance (on average, 2.5 – 6 kWh per load). Avoid this abuse by doing laundry before you run out of clean clothes, and hang them on a drying rack overnight. You’ll even get a healthy bonus by adding moisture to the air, especially when heaters are on full blast.

No drying rack? Hang clothes on the shower rod, doors and door knobs, and resistant furniture, adding to the ambiance!

Avoiding the dryer will save lots of energy – and help our planet.

Anna Norum-Gross

NP Climate Action Coalition