The Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home! 5 Tips For Students on How To Save Energy

Whether climate change is completely a man made problem, or just part of the natural cycle of our planet, we could all do to cut down a teeny bit of our energy consumption. We young ones have a love affair with laptops, hair grooming tools, games consoles and toasters, so what can we do?

My floor, a prime example of when wires build up

1) Turn off your lights

It may sound obvious, but how many of you have wandered out of your room with the intent of only being gone for a few minutes, only to find that an hour later you actually return? Turning lights off is an easy habit to get into, and we don’t want the energy companies or our landlords complaining of excess energy usage. It’ll save you money from energy consumption and it’ll make lightbulbs last that little bit longer. It’s as easy as flicking a switch!

2) Buy energy efficient bulbs

I’m not suggesting that you run to the shops right now to buy one of these, but maybe when the next time a bulb does stop working, get one that uses approximately 75% less energy than a usual one. If you combine both this point and the one above, then you’ll be saving a lot in the long run.

3) Invest in a wooly jumper and turn down the thermostat

Turning down the thermostat by just a couple of degrees (and basically off entirely in warm weather) makes the world of difference to both your bills and energy consumption. Wooly jumpers (especially the fair lisle ones) have become quite popular in the shops, but other other ideas for keeping warm include dressing gowns, hot water bottles, hike socks and even a funky kigu. My one looks like a panda and doubles up as a great costume for parties.

4) Turn off the oven a few minutes before you normally do

When you open an oven door, the temperature tends to drop by a couple of degrees, but if you keep that door shut then the temperature remains. So, if you were to turn it off, say 5-10 minutes before you need to, then you’ll be using slightly less power to cook your food, but you’ll still be cooking it with the leftover residual heat. Just remember to resist that urge to keep opening the door to have a look!

5) Unplug that hairdryer!

This is the big one. Even when you’re not using your hairdryer/straightener/television/xbox, energy is still consumed if they’re left plugged in. So the easiest way to save some energy and the only planet that we can call home is to do this, unplug your appliances once they’ve been used or turn off the sockets at the wall. Most modern televisions have a button that takes it off standby (ever wondered what powers the little red light?) and if you go away for a few days, turn off all the electrics in the room if you can as you’re also avoiding a fire hazard.

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