Energy Conservation

A view of Luther's campus where energy saving is a priority.

Energy Conservation Program

In February 2010, Luther officially adopted an Energy Conservation Program. A $45,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Institute funded the creation of the program. The creation of the program developed with consultants from Sebesta Blomberg. Through innovative programming related to energy conservation, we hope to reduce energy consumption two percent per year through behavior change and will continue our work on energy efficiency (three percent per year), as well as larger projects like the wind turbine, biomass project and building improvement projects.

Energy Tips

Use these energy conservation tips to help us reach our goals!

Computers, Lights and Electronics

  • Customize your computer settings regarding sleep mode and power usage to increase efficiency and reduce energy waste. Visit LIS for easy "how-to" tips on computers and other electronics.
  • Utilize power strips to reduce the number of power outlets being used.
  • Buy ENERGY STAR qualified equipment and appliances.
  • Use and install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in desk lamps when old bulbs burn out. Contact to replace ceiling lights.
  • Unplug electronics and power strips in your room when leaving over the weekend or breaks!
  • Buy/request environmentally preferred products such as recycled paper, ENERGY STAR appliances, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and compact fluorescent light bulbs—your voice and opinion matter!
  • Minimize printing when possible.
  • Recycle ink cartridges, cell phones and batteries at designated areas: Olin and the Document Center
  • Before purchasing new office equipment, try emailing LC Facilities to see if they have what you're looking for in storage! If it's in decent condition, use it! With a simple email you could save yourself money and keep things out of the landfill.

Heating and Cooling Season

  • In the winter, keep your heat set to the lowest comfortable temperature. Keeping your thermostat set warmer is a waste of energy and money.
  • Turn your heat down when you go to sleep and when leaving your room, most people sleep better cold than hot.
  • Avoid blocking the radiators with desks and furniture.
  • Keep your blinds open during the day to absorb sunlight (and minimize thermostat use), and shut the blinds at night to keep the warm air inside.
  • During Fall, Summer, and Spring, try opening windows and doors to increase ventilation instead of only using air conditioners and fans. This will also help fresh air circulate better, keeping you healthy!
  • If you have any problems with your heater, thermostat, windows, etc., don't hesitate to email Fix-it or check out the Luther College Facilities web page.

Waste and Recycling

  • Utilize the correct recycling bins for your empty containers, paper, soda cans. Make noise and request such containers if you're floor doesn't have them already!
  • Participate in events such as "Trash for Treasure" to recycle items (work and home-related) that you might otherwise throw away or not use.
  • Initiate the habit of composting undesired food waste, try keeping such material in a container with a lid.
  • Donate useable items to The Depot, Spectrum or Goodwill and the office supplies reuse stations to recycle items (school, work, and home-related) that you might otherwise throw away or not use.

Personal Habits and Cleanliness

  • Walk or bike to class from off-campus instead of driving; it helps keep you healthy too!
  • Check out sustainability transportation site to explore different transportation options!
  • Turn off the water when washing hands and brushing teeth.
  • Bring a steel water bottle, mug, etc. to refill rather than purchasing countless plastic bottled waters.
  • Use cold water as opposed to hot water when washing clothes. This reduces energy use, cold water works great unless you have a terrible stain!
  • Save time, money and energy by leaving your clothes to dry inside your room on a line or drying rack. Try placing this rack in the sun (near a window), or near your heater (in winter months) to maximize the utility of sunlight and heat energy already being generated.
  • Purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products to limit environmental impact when cleaning up surfaces, windows, etc. in rooms.

Watt Meter Check Out

Luther has watt meters available to check out to any student, faculty, or staff member that desires to use one. By plugging it into a wall outlet where you have another electronic device plugged in, you can measure the amount of electricity used.

Watt meters can be checked out from the Library Circulation Desk for two weeks at a time.