What You Should Know
New Yorkers, who have generally smaller living spaces and access to outstanding public transportation, already tend to have lower carbon footprints than many people living in more rural or suburban environments. 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.
How You Can Help
- 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 or leaving your house.
- Shop carefully be sure to only purchase energy saving lightbuls 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 Christmas 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 CFLs) that last longer and consume less energy.
- Turn off energy-draining equipment such as desktop computers, televisions, and copy machines when they are not in use. Many appliances continue to use energy while plugged in even when they are turned off.
- Turn off and unplug electronics – radios, lamps, e.g. -- when you’ve left your workspace or living space.
- Columbia's Facilities Department offers some tips on how to conserve energy specifically during summer and winter.
- The United States Department of Energy provides a 'quick clicks' section with advice for students, consumer, and employees—roles we all fill at one time or another.
- At 'The Power of Green', ConEdison has devoted an entire website to conserving energy and saving money through your use of power in a home or business.
- The government's Energy Star program provides a comprehensive rating system that can help you to decide where to buy more efficient appliances and electronics.