What is this, and why is it important?
New Yorkers, who generally have smaller living spaces and access to outstanding public transportation, already tend to have lower carbon footprints than many people living in rural or suburban areas. Still, there are many things we can do differently to reduce our energy usage. In many cases, small changes in daily habits can lead to large energy savings. Better yet, lowering your energy consumption can help you to save quite a bit of money.
What can YOU do?
- Dress warmly in the winter and wear light clothing during the summer to minimize heater and air conditioner usage. Use your blinds or curtains to let sun and heat in on cool days and to keep it out on hotter days.
- Only turn on the lights you need. Use natural lighting whenever possible and make sure to turn off all your lights when leaving a room.
- Shop carefully, and be sure to only purchase energy saving lightbulbs that have the Energy Star logo to ensure you're using an efficient and safe device. Look for energy efficient models when purchasing appliances. When buying decorative lights, such as holiday string lights, look for L.E.D.'s which have a far longer lifespan and use less electricity than incandescent lights. Also look for energy efficient lightbulbs (such as compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs) that last longer and consume less energy.
- Turn off energy-draining equipment such as desktop computers, televisions, and printers when they are not in use. Many appliances continue to use energy while they are plugged in, even if they are turned off.
- Turn off and unplug electronics, such as radios, speakers, lamps, etc. when you've left your work or living space.
- Do you live in a residence hall? Check out our sustainability dashboard!
What is Columbia doing?
Columbia actively looks to decrease the energy footprint on campus through energy-efficiency and conservation measures. Columbia is a participant in the PlaNYC Carbon Challenge and works with partner programs, like Labs21, to ensure efficiency wherever possible. Read more about Columbia's energy conservation measures.
Stop by here or the sustainability dashboard to see how your building is doing relative to other residence halls!
Results from the 2015 Energy Challenge: