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Save energy

Support MIT's comprehensive recycling programs by using the appropriate recycling bins in offices and hallways. Harvesting, extracting, and processing raw materials used to manufacture new products is an energy-intensive activity. Reducing the need for these processes, therefore, achieves huge savings in energy. Recycling aluminum cans, for example, saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source, bauxite. The amount of energy saved differs by material, but almost all recycling processes achieve significant energy savings compared to production using virgin materials. (Source: US Environmental Protection Agency).

Use the revolving doors! MIT has installed revolving doors all over campus because they really do save energy. With a revolving door, a seal is created so that no air is flowing freely into the building. Compare that to the blast of cold air delivered by opening a conventional door and multiply by all the comings and goings in MIT buildings, and you can see why we each need to do our part.

Exercise while saving energy—avoid using elevators and use the stairs instead. Avoid using automatic doors if you don't need to.

Close doors and windows. Call FIXIT (617-253-4948) if a door or window in your area needs repairing. You do not need an account # to report problems on this line, and no forms to fill out! Basic repairs and maintenance are provided by local repair and maintenance teams grouped into five zones, each responsible for selected buildings. If you see a leaking faucet, broken window, or other operational problems, promptly request a repair and notify your local zone supervisor.

Put computers on sleep mode.

When leaving the office, turn off lights, printers, computers and all peripherals, monitors, and equipment, and ask lab members, faculty, office mates, and students, to do the same. For a free sticker from the Students for Global Sustainability (SfGS), , indicating how many stickers you need and your campus address.

Keep thermostats turned down low, especially over the weekends. Space heaters are an energy drain: dress warmly instead.

Use passive solar heating—open the window blinds in your area to take advantage of the sun's heat, and close them when the sun goes down to keep the heat in.

Keep the fume hoods in your laboratories closed and ask lab members to do the same. According to MIT's Department of Facilities, for a 5 foot hood with active airflow controls, operating from 6" sash height to 30 inch sash height full open while maintaining the face velocity: max flow 1150 cfm, min flow 230 cfm. Each inch above 6 inches of opening is an additional 38.3 cfm of ventilation, the heating/cooling and air moving costs to provide this inch of air is approximately $190 per year in added energy. If left fully open, when the fume hood could be closed, the approximate cost is per open hood is $4,600 per year.

Purchase and use appliances with the Energy Star label. For more information, visit

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