Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reduce Your Juice!

The Annual HLS Electricity Competition

From October 26-November 22, the HLS student residences (Ames, Dane, Holmes, Shaw, Hastings, North, and the HLS apartments) will be competing to see who can reduce their electricity usage the most and express their commitment to sustainability. The prize will be a dinner for the entire dorm.

75% percent of the competition is based on electricity reduction. The other 25% is based on the taking the university-wide sustainability pledge, found here:  There are lots of great tips there for sustainable living. The goal this year is to get 10,000 members of the Harvard community to take the pledge.

Even if you don’t live in the residences, this is a great time to think about what you can be doing to cut down on electricity.  As the weather turns colder, heating will ramp up electricity usage, so it’s an important time to really try and bring it back down in other ways.

The residences will get weekly updates on their progress, along with new tips each week, which we’ll be reposting here. If you don’t live in the residences, make an effort to reduce your electricity usage and then use that as an excuse to treat yourself to dinner at the end of the month.

This week’s tips are all about lighting. Turn off your lights! Leaving florescent lights on doesn’t save energy. Replace your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs), which use 75% less energy and last six times longer (fewer bulbs to buy!).  Brighten your rooms by opening the blinds during the day and keeping your bulbs clean and dust-free. Use “task lighting,” like a desk lamp, instead of lighting up your whole room.

Good luck reducing your juice, and keep checking back here for updates and more green living tips!

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