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May 24, 2018  |  Login

Eliminate Dorm Room Energy Hogs

Change your dorm room habits to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.

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The average college dorm room is full of potential energy wasters.  Be aware of these energy hogs and make your dorm a much greener place.  Here are 3 simple changes you can make:

1. Never buy another incandescent light bulb. Switch the bulbs in your lamps to compact fluorescents—they last forever (basically) and use very little energy.  They’ll end up saving you money on light bulbs.  No matter what kind of light bulb you have, make sure you turn them off when you aren’t in the room!  

2. Unplug your chargers. Leaving laptop or cell phone chargers plugged in all day is a common source of waste.  Get in the habit of unplugging after you have a full battery.  Also, be sure to set your computer to sleep or low-power mode when you aren’t using it.

3. Avoid the mini-fridge. Each roommate having his or her own fridge is a waste of energy: sharing is best.  If this is not possible, make sure your appliances are certified by Energy Star.  Energy Star is an EPA program that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by identifying energy-efficient appliances.

As an experiment, a group of students at Tulane University created the Energy Star Dorm Room, filling a room entirely with energy-efficient appliances, computers, lights, etc.  Their findings were pretty impressive.  They learned that each room could save 594 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere per school year—that translates into almost forty dollars of savings.  Not bad, but especially striking when you consider the estimated savings if all 3,257 students in Tulane residence halls were to make the same changes: $61,728—almost a million pounds of carbon dioxide!


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Did You Know?

Click below for more facts about this tip.


  1. Dunn, Collin. (2006) "Your Phone is Charged. Please Unplug Your Charger Now." Available from: [08 June 2009]

  2. Energy Star. "Refrigerators and Freezers." Available from: [10 June 2009]

  3. Tulane University. "Energy Smart Shopping for College." Available from: [09 June 2009]

  4. US EPA and US Department of Energy. Energy Star Program. [23 April 2007] "Energy Star Change a Light, Change the World 2007 Campaign Facts and Assumptions Sheet." Available from: [27 November 2007]

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