Sustainability - Green Notes

How To Leave Things For The Holidays

Before heading home for the holidays this semester, consider these simple sustainable steps to reduce your environmental foot print.  

Turn off your lights: 

  • Turning off your lights is a simple and effective way to conserve energy. Before you leave, take a few more seconds to go through your dorm or apartment and switch off all of your lights. 
  • Natural lighting is a wonderful substitution during the day. Open your curtain or blinds to let some sunlight in! It’s been said that sunlight boosts the spirits. 
  • Consider using LED bulbs throughout your living space. They are an energy efficient option that lasts longer, which reduces the need for replacements. 

Unplug all electronics: 

  • Unplugging electronics and chargers is important to prevent “vampire power,” which is a term used for the energy wasted when devices are left in standby mode. Ensure everything from phone chargers to TVs to microwaves is unplugged.
  • To make this practice more convenient, you can use power strips. Simply switch off the power strip to cut power to all devices simultaneously. 
  • Reducing electronic waste and energy consumption is not only eco-friendly, it is also cost effective!

Turn down heating units: 

  • Adjust your thermostat to a lower setting in the winter to conserve energy. Be sure to not turn it off entirely in freezing cold temperatures to prevent issues like frozen pipes. 
  • Consider investing in a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule. 
  • Lowering your heating temperature can significantly reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint. Save money and energy at the same time!

Ensure all windows and doors are properly shut:

  • Seal your windows and make sure that all doors are closed securely before you leave. This helps maintain the indoor temperature so your heating unit doesn’t have to draw more energy to compensate for the cold air coming in. 
  • Even small gaps can lead to heat loss. You can use draft stoppers or weather-stripping to seal gaps around windows and doors effectively. 
  • Properly insulating your living space is another example of how being sustainable and conserving energy can save you money on energy bills in the process!

Check for any leaks:

  • Leaks in faucets, pipes, or toilets can waste a significant amount of water over time. Fix any leaks you come across before leaving to prevent water waste. 
  • A leaky faucet or running toilet can waste gallons of water per day. Fixing these issues is once more not only sustainable but cost efficient as well. 
  • If you identify any leaks in campus provided housing, reach out to your RA about submitting a work order. If you live off campus, reach out to a maintenance service to see about having the issue addressed promptly. 

Donate any food that you won’t use: 

  • Reducing food waste is a vital part of sustainability. If you have unopened food items that won’t be consumed, consider donating them to a local rescue mission or organization. 
  • Tennessee Tech’s Food Pantry located at Tech Village accepts a wide variety of donations! You can reach out them by emailing for more information. Cookeville also has a variety of food banks or shelters that can benefit from your donations. Find a local charity, and drop off the food before you leave.
  • Donating food prevents waste and helps your community during the holiday season!

By following these sustainable practices before leaving for the holidays, you can make a positive impact on both the environment and your community, all while ensuring a stress-free return to your dorm or apartment. Enjoy your break with the peace of mind that you've contributed to a greener, more sustainable Tennessee Tech. Happy Holidays, Eco Eagles!

Experience Tech For Yourself

Visit us to see what sets us apart.

Schedule Your Visit
Sustainable Projects