Eco-Rep Green Corner: High electric bills easily unplugged

I know I’m not the first person to say this, nor do I think I will be the last, but welcome back or welcome new students to Rider University! I hope you had not only a good and healthy summer, but a sustainable one as well. We, the eco-reps, wanted to come up with new ways for you to think “sustainability” for the school year.

There are many things we have educated the Rider community about in the past, including carpooling, drinking from reusable water bottles with our Quench Machines around campus and recycling in the yellow (cans and bottles; glass, plastics #1-#7 and aluminum) and green (paper and cardboard) containers in the residence halls. Rider has come a long way in the past two years since the introduction of going green and becoming a more sustainable community. Many students are asking more about living green and petitioning their politicians about the future of clean energy.

This year, Rider is purchasing green energy for 35 percent of its electrical needs. The purchasing of green energy is helping you reduce the environmental impact of the electricity you use here on campus. Sure, you are probably not paying the electricity bill in your dorm room or your parents’ home, but someday soon, when you move into your own home or apartment, you will get that bill in the mail. If you follow simple steps in your room, you can easily reduce that bill by about 15 percent or more. By leaving a desktop computer plugged in, you are adding $34 to your electric bill each year. A new plasma TV adds over $150 onto your annual electricity bill. Currently, it is estimated that the United States wastes more than $3 billion for the energy drained by vampire energy. It’s easy to cut the power to devices that drain energy all at once by using a power strip for items like your TV, DVD player, video game console, phone charger and computer charger and turning it off when you aren’t using it. These items all use energy when they are turned off but still plugged in.

Simply train yourself to be more habitually green — recycle out of habit, save power and water, and use more organic products and our world will become a healthier place for all of us. If it’s Not in Use, Turn off the Juice!

Chris Shepherd is one of the eco-reps chosen to represent Rider.

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