House-Energy - Tips and information to help homeowners reduce energy use and carbon emissions.
Drive Less!Walk, bike, take the TARC bus (free with UofL ID), carpool, or vanpool whenever possible. You'll stay fit, make friends, save thousands of dollars per year, and drastically reduce your energy use and planetary impact. Use Cardinal Directions to set-up carpools and explore all your options.
Avoid the trip all together: Rather than polluting the planet and wasting fuel, money & time to
get everyone in the same room, consider holding virtual meetings and classes through Teleconference, Videoconference, or the Blackboard Collaborate platform (free to UofL employees!).
Don't fly! Flying causes 5-10 times more pollution per passenger-mile than ground-based options. It accounts for 5.5% of UofL’s total carbon footprint. Consider greener, less sardine-like options: video- or teleconference; carpool; take the train or bus (Megabus, Miller & Greyhound all serve Louisville directly, and you can catch Amtrak in Indianapolis or Cincinnati).
Keep tires properly inflated to save on gas (efficiency is reduced 1% for every 3 PSI that tires are under-inflated).
Don't let engines idle longer than about 30 seconds. Idling longer wastes fuel and an idling engine produces more pollution than a moving vehicle.
Set computers to "sleep" or “hibernate” when idle (under Control Panel > Power Options). Especially important for desktop models.
Always shut down your computer when you're done. Any system updates can be made when you reboot.
Turn off any peripheral devices (printers, monitors, speakers, scanners, etc.) when you're done. Just plug them all into one power strip and click it off, or use a "smart" power strip which automatically shut off power to peripherals when the computer shuts down.
Do not run a screen saver. They waste energy. Instead, set your monitor to enter power-saving mode when idle.
Turn off lights, computers and equipment off when vacating a room.
chargers, TVs, computers, and other equipment when not in use (many
consume electricity even when the unit is turned off!). An easy solution
is to put everything on one power strip and click it all off when
Set thermostats moderately (<70°F winter / >75°F summer) & adjust 10°F when vacating a room.
Donate unwanted items to the UofL Free Store (open to all UofL students and employees weekly in the basement of Unitas Hall (enter from Cardinal Blvd near Brook Street). You can also donate items to charities, thrift stores, or non-profit
organizations; or have a yard sale! UofL employees can give these items
new life through UofL Surplus or our online Property Exchange listings.
At the checkout, refuse new plastic or paper bags and bring your own reusable shopping bags (available for purchase on campus for under $2 at The Nest, Simply To Go, and Quick Zone).
At mealtimes, use reusable mugs, cups, utensils, cloth napkins and towels rather than disposables. Save 50 cents with a reusable mug every time you fill up on coffee, tea, or fountain drinks at any UofL dining facility.
Switch to rechargeable batteries rather than toxic disposables.
Avoid excess packaging by bringing your own bags and buying in
bulk whenever possible. UofL employees can reuse packing materials like
boxes and bubble wrap through our online Property Exchange listings.
Buy pre-owned items whenever possible or new items with post-consumer recycled content.
Recycling is a breeze at UofL!
Recycle all kinds of paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass - all in the same bin at UofL!
Compost your food scraps and
organic wastes in one of the Garden Commons composting bins behind the Cultural
Center, and start composting at home!
Recycle computers, TVs & other E-waste: 636 Meriwether Ave. (MetroCall: 311). Home Depot recycles CFLs. UofL employees can recycle departmental e-waste through our E-Waste program and our Printer Cartridge program.
Take hazardous materials (paints, solvents, chemicals, fluorescent bulbs, etc.) to Haz Bin 7501 Grade Lane. UofL employees should contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety for pick-up, exchange, or responsible disposal of hazardous materials.
Green Your Laboratory to reduce toxins and waste: 1. Inventory Control: Keep chemical inventories updated to minimize duplicate ordering. Chemical purchases can also be reduced by borrowing and sharing chemicals between labs. DEHS offers a Chemical Exchange Program (CHEMEX) for chemicals that are unopened or partially used. 2. Product substitution: Review procedures with an eye to eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals by replacing with a less hazardous or non-hazardous alternative. 3. Replace mercury-containing thermometers with non-toxic substitutes. 4. Reuse empty chemical bottles to collect chemical waste. 5. Switch from disposal plastics items (beakers, pipettes, culture dishes, tubes, etc) to reusable glassware that can be autoclaved or disinfected/inactivated with a mild chemical solution (most inactivations effectively use 10% bleach, which can be sink disposed).
Eat less meat and animal products,
substituting with plant protein (beans, nuts, soy products, etc.) to improve your health, eliminate cruelty from your diet, and reduce your environmental impact as much as ten times. → Get started by trying Meatless Mondays or Meatless Mornings → UofL Dining: A Vegetarian’s Guide
Eat organic, fair trade, grass-fed or plant-based products to minimize abuse to the environment, people & animals.