Article By: Francis Henry Eshun, Class of 2020

Ding! Click!
These are two familiar sounds that one would hear if one decided to walk the halls of the hostels. These sounds belong to the microwave, rice cooker, hot plate or the iron. What all of these have in common is the fact that they all use electricity; some more than others though.

Fact is, the rooms here in the blocks don’t come with individual meters to track how much power each room is using. This comes as good news to students who don’t have to pay for their energy consumption, but I reckon it could be a headache for administration, which has a hard time figuring out where the power goes to.

This problem exists all over the world especially on university campuses where most students are described as not being energy-conscious. Many universities all over the world have published similar papers asking students to be more conscious of their environment especially with regards to energy.

This piece explores the many ways we waste power here on campus and seeks to offer a few tips on how to conserve energy better.

Turning off the fan when leaving the room.
The rooms tend to get really warm during the day and often at night. It is not unusual to have your fan on full blast (Fans in the block usually work efficiently when on full), but what happens when you step out to take a shower or go to the other wing to chat for a while? Cooling an uninhabited room is absolutely pointless and wastes copious amounts of energy.

Turning off the balcony lights.
This is perhaps where most people fall culprit. A quick survey at the time of writing this article revealed that 10 rooms out of 30 on one wing had their balcony lights on, with no one making  use of it. This represents 1 in 3 rooms leaving their balcony lights on for at least 8-10 hours overnight. While the cost per kWh may not be significant for one room, it is definitely significant when you consider the total number of rooms on campus.

Unplug Appliances when going on breaks
When going on short breaks like for Christmas or Easter, it wouldn’t hurt to clean out the fridge and turn it off. In that period when we’re away, the fridge still consumes energy; we don’t benefit.

Ironing in Bulk
If you bothered to find out how an iron consumes energy, you would know that it consumes less energy when it is on for a long time largely due to the thermostat in it as opposed to when it is turned on every morning to iron a shirt or a skirt. Fact is, you save more energy when you iron in bulk as opposed to heating up an iron every morning before school.

The following are also helpful to reduce your energy consumption.

1. Turn off your room lights when not in use.
2. Turn off the chargers when your devices are fully charged.
3. Buy LED table lamps for reading.
4. Bring only energy efficient appliances to school. (Fridges, kettles, hot plates)
5. Recycle!

There will be another editorial shortly on making campus a greener place to live in but till then, remember that no matter how great or how small the effort, any attempt to conserve energy makes a difference! Just because you are living in the hostels doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to make a difference.
By applying these easy tactics listed above, your dorm can be an efficient and greener space!

Picture credit: Google