As we approach the holidays and prepare to shutdown it is important to take energy and water conservation into consideration. The following is a list of ways to reduce use and waste in offices, dorms, and homes.
You may also visit the University of Southern Maine’s “Green Up Your Space” webpage, created by the Assistant Director for Sustainable Programs, Tyler Kidder.
These lists are not exhaustive. If you have something that should be added please let me know. Thank you and happy holidays!
- Turn off all lights (This should be done for shutdown but also whenever you leave a space for more than 15 minutes)
- Make sure all windows are closed and tightly latched
- Make sure all exterior doors and loading dock doors are securely closed and latched
- Unplug/defrost any mini fridges in the office
- Unplug coffee makers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, space heaters, fans or other small appliances
- Unplug any adapters or chargers including those for phone, laptop, speakers, battery chargers, and task lighting – these draw energy even when the product is not in use
- Unplug calculators, desktop printers, TVs, digital signage monitors, paper shredders, label makers, pencil sharpeners, and other electronics
- DO NOT UNPLUG the fax machine!
- After proper computer shut-down, unplug tower and monitor of desktop machines
- To make all this easier: use a power strip if not already! Next time you’ll just have to flip a switch or two
Dining, Kitchen, Retail Locations
- Consolidate all products into as few coolers as possible & unplug/defrost unneeded refrigeration equipment including:
- Small coolers in the serving area (at the stations and the Worry Free Zone)
- Reach-in and Ice Cream freezers
- Dairy and Milk dispensers
- Air Screens should be completely shutdown and product moved to a more efficient refrigerator
- Walk-in refrigerators and freezers may be an exception because often they will require a huge amount of energy to reach temperature again. If you do not need your walk-in over break, speak to your maintenance crew about powering it down for you (this may be a time for them and your team to do some needed cleaning and maintenance as well!)
- Unplug unneeded small appliances in the serving area such as microwaves, coffee brewers, hot chocolate machines, hot water taps, waffle irons, toasters, drink fountains, warmers, blenders, slicers, etc
- Be sure all taps are completely shut off and not dripping
- Turn off all lighting including lights in bathrooms, seating area, serving area, kitchen, walk-in coolers, plus warming lights, track lighting, etc
- Partner with Facilities & Maintenance to shut down as much kitchen equipment as possible such as:
- Ovens, hoods, hot water kettles, mixers, char broilers, fryers, stove tops
- Shut off gas (if used) for shutdowns longer than 10 days
- Drain, clean, and completely shutdown dish machine
- Ice machines require a large amount of energy to refill so:
- If operations are shutdown for LESS THAN 10 days leave the ice machine fully operational.
- If shutdown is LONGER THAN 10 days drain, clean, and unplug ice machine