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Sustainability in Residence Halls

Air condition and heat wisely

If it is cooler outside than it is in your room, simply open your window. When using A/C, set it on low and turn it off when you leave. Also, don't forget to turn down the heat! In the winter, don't open a window to cool your room. Most rooms are equipped with thermostats that will allow you to adjust the temperature so you're nice and comfortable.

Rethink your lighting

Instead of lighting your entire room, use a lamp to light just the area you are using. Replacing older incandescent light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs can save about 25 to 70% more electricity. Better yet, if you don't need your lights, don't turn them on. Instead, think about using natural light. Be sure to turn off lights in common areas, bathrooms, and lounges when you leave.

Turn things off and keep them unplugged

Turn off lights, lamps, computers, printers, TV’s, radios, and any other equipment when not in use. Many electronics still use power when they are plugged in–we call this phantom plug loads. When you're gone on breaks and the residence hall room is empty, be sure to turn the heater or A/C.

Shower smarter

The benefits of taking shorter showers are twofold: not only will you save on water, but also on the tremendous amount of energy required to heat water. All of the showerheads on campus have a flow-rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, and cutting your shower time by just two minutes would save about 1,825 gallons of water a year per person (that's close to 6 million gallons total).

Launder better

Wash clothes only when they need to be washed, and run loads according to your manufacturer specifications. Some machines adjust water usage with each size load, but it may be better to run full loads on older machines. Using cold or warm water instead of hot will save on energy, and hang your clothes to dry as much as possible. To get that stiff feeling out, throw your clothes in the dryer for five minutes.

Report maintenance issues

Keep sink faucets and shower faucets from dripping and report those that do. You can submit a work request through Facilities Management Office’s Work Request System while on campus. You will receive email notification once the request has been received and periodic updates for when the work will be completed. We appreciate your help in improving UNC's sustainability efforts.