#ShrinkYourDormPrint @UConn

LED Desk Lamps 2017
A student picking up his free energy efficient LED desk lamp at the UConn Bookstore (photo courtesy of @EversourceCT)

The upcoming school year is looking as bright as ever, as thousands of new and returning students recently flocked to the bookstore to receive the sleekest new edition to the #shrinkyourdormprint movement – an energy efficient, multifunctional LED desk lamp generously provided by UConn and it’s energy provider, Eversource. Equipped with varying light intensity, color, and height variations, not only is this lamp a terrific addition to dorm aesthetics, but it provides students the chance to take part in UConn’s commitment to an environmentally sustainable future. With this new dorm addition, students can keep their dorms well-lit and be more energy efficient with a product that uses at least 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.

According to estimates by Eversource, student use of LED light bulbs for task lighting in the dorms saves more than 600,000kWh a year, concurrently reducing UConn’s carbon footprint by 400 tons of eCO2 and saving $60,000 in energy costs. These statistics also fall in line with UConn’s Climate Action Plan, where LED transition is a major component. Eversource has also estimated that if every student switched one old-school lamp with an LED, the saved emissions would total that similar to a small power plant for two semesters – and looking at the eager faces of students lined around the perimeter of the bookstore, it looks as though that statistic could one day be a reality.

desk lamp box screenshot
A close up of the LED desk lamp box

UConn LED Desk Lamp Giveaway Video

This year-round attention to energy efficiency does not stop here. UConn also replaced refrigerators in both Charter Oak and Northwood apartments with ones that met the government-issued Energy Star standard. From June 15th to July 18th, 300 refrigerators were replaced, a transition that will conserve a whopping 10,000 kWh!

Energy Star refrigerator on its way into a Charter Oaks Apartment
Energy Star refrigerator on its way into a Charter Oaks Apartment

While the massive distribution of LED bulbs and refrigerators are themselves impressive feats, the giveaways signified something much more. With the generous support from Eversource, these initiatives are proof of UConn’s commitment to environmental stewardship, and more impressively, its commitment to maintaining this objective both in and out of the regular academic sessions and simultaneously involving students in the process.



A Mini-Series on Greening Your Dorm or Apartment: Part 3

Editor’s Note:

Below is the third installment of Greening Your Dorm or Apartment. Be sure to check out parts 1 and 2, and if you have any suggestions, tips or quotes that would fit in this mini-series, please e-mail me at rose.croog@uconn.edu

Succulents? Excellent

A succulent is a plant that has thick and fleshy leaves, evolved to retain water. Why is this significant? Because these plants are adapted to arid climates or in the busy college student’s case: long streaks of time without water.

succulentsSome examples of these succulents that are structurally equipped to handle neglect are the famous Aloe Vera plant, Burro’s Tail (which looks like grapes), and my personal favorite, the Snake Plant. With that name, you just know it will look cool.

In addition to the snake plant, some of my other favorites that currently reside in my Hilltop apartment are the Yucca and the Pothos Plants. After a controlled experiment, I can confirm they are able to survive a whole Thanksgiving break without water.

Since I am far from a botany specialist, the following quote explains the environmental benefit of plants, taken from an employee in the LEED Credit Project regarding ‘The Biophilic Connection’:

“When plants transpire water vapor from their leaves, they pull air down around their roots. This supplies their root microbes with oxygen. The root microbes also convert other substances in the air, such as toxic chemicals, into a source of food and energy.”

Not only do these leafy specimens act as air purifiers, pulling in toxic chemicals and converting them into something they live off, but working around flowers and plants has been proven to reduce stress, promote productivity, and stimulate creativity. So if you’re convinced, stop by UConn Blooms or the Flower Pot in Storrs Center to make your purchase!




A Mini Series on Greening Your Dorm or Apartment: Part 2

Editor’s Note

Below is the second installment of Greening You Dorm or Apartment featuring miscellaneous and random ways to become more energy efficient and less wasteful while completing day-to-day tasks. Be sure to check out part 1 and if you have any suggestions, tips or quotes that would fit in this mini-series, please e-mail me at rose.croog@uconn.edu


In the Kitchen, Laundry Room, and the Bathroom

  1. Up first, wait till the dishwasher is full, perhaps even overflowing, to run it. Less cycles mean less water, and less cycles mean less of those pesky, pricey detergent pods.
  2. Same idea goes for your laundry, wait for a full load. It will spare you from doing that cumbersome washer-dryer transfer too often, which, without fail, will cost you a lost sock (or three).
  3. Layer up in the winter rather than turning up the thermostat dial or calling in the Hilltop Apartments automated thermostat adjuster. This saves a ton of energy and therefore greenhouse gas emissions from burning natural gas to heat your college-home. Staying in the 68-72 range will assure the most optimal blend of comfort end eco-friendliness.
  4. When boiling water, fill the kettle up with the amount of water you need. For example, if drinking a cup of tea in your favorite mug, fill that mug up with water and put it directly in the kettle.
  5. Make eco-friendly choices when it comes to purchasing toiletries such as buying in bulk or at stores with zero-waste option packaging such as Lush Cosmetics.
Lush Cosmetics

Devoted environmentalist and resident of Celeron Square Apartments, Jacquelyn Filson, discusses making the transition to more natural beauty and hygiene products:

“If you make the switch to all natural products like shampoo bars, you can reduce shower time while also reducing superfluous packaging like store bought shampoos, facewashes, and conditioners. Also, all natural organic products are great because of the low negative impact they have when disposed of.”


There’s No Place like Local


Before Storrs turns into an icy wind tunnel, the farmers market on Storrs Road by the Town Hall is a great place to buy some fresh vegetables, fruits, jellies, pies, baked goods, and even hot sauce. The temperatures do drop, but that is no reason to stop buying local or supporting your local businesses. In fact, the Buy CT Grown website is your one-stop resource to find all things grown here in CT. You can use their search taskbar at the top of page to search for a product or check out the trails which detail all the different ways you can buy locally with different themes such as wine, beer, cheese. Coming soon: the UConn trail.

If buying local is something that truly strikes your fancy, take the 10% local pledge and spend 10% of your food and gardening dollars locally. Visit http://www.buyctgrown.com/ to learn more!

A Mini-Series on Greening Your Dorm or Apartment: Part 1

Go Green to Save Green: Editor’s Note

The following post is a kick-off to a series of posts written to help you make greener changes to wherever you live on campus. I know that serving as a steward to your environment alone does not drive all of us to change our actions. However, one thing that does is that greenish, crinkly, paper/linen stuff: money. All of these tips can lessen your environmental footprint while also leaving money in your bank account.

Used is IN

chairSavers, Salvation Army, UConn Buy or Sell: all of these shopping arenas are second-hand stores where you can find clothing, couches, chairs, tables, glasses, cookware, and even old Backstreet Boys CD’s.

I have never received more compliments on a piece of furniture than my red cushioned papasan that I bought from the Salvation Army. Many might ask, what is a papasan? Well, it is a stylish chair made famous by Pier 1 Imports Furniture that goes for $149.95 ($79.95 for the frame $70 for the cushion). I bought it from a thrift store in a used, like-new condition for $15. Not only did I save over $130, but by buying something in its second, third, maybe fourth cycle from a local enterprise, I prevented a new papasan from being made in the long-run (saving the environmental impacts of manufacturing and transportation) and my $15 dollars went to a social cause rather than straight into Pier 1’s income accounts.

Second hand stores are a beautiful opportunity to find cheap deals and to make a statement with your purchase. Consumerism is a rampant idealism of our society, but buying brand new doesn’t benefit your budget or the environment. So what does purchasing second-hand do? It gives you more power for your dollar. Instead of feeding a wasteful lifestyle, your money instead goes to the local economy, your pocket, and supports a larger shift towards a more sustainable society that uses existing resources to fulfill current needs. Also, by shopping at more charitable organizations you are investing your dollar in helping others. The Salvation Army who take 82 cents of every dollar to providing to food distribution, disaster relief, and other beneficial community programs.

Editor’s note: Yes, buying used items can be deemed “unsanitary”, “mysterious”, even “dangerous,” so play it smart and enjoy the hunt. Look for the items that look the cleanest and a few thorough washes are never a bad idea!