Sustainability at the University of Maryland

What Can You Do?

Explore each category:

In Your Residence Hall (On-Campus Students)

At Home

  • Use a Lamp. Study by a lamp instead of lighting an entire room.
  • Use CFLs. Replace all frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), which use about 25% of the energy that incandescent bulbs use.
  • Use Natural Light. If you don’t need lights, don’t turn them on.
  • Post this Energywi$e flyer in your dorm reminding people to Flip the Switch
  • Turn It Off. Turn off lights, lamps, computers, printers, TVs, radios, and any other equipment when not in use. Check out the Energywise Let It Sleep sleep.
  • Unplug It. Many electronics such as TVs, computers, cell phone chargers, electric razors, etc. still use power when they are plugged in. If you have a second refrigerator, consolidate food into one refrigerator and unplug the other. Check out the Energywise Unplug it & Centralize it page.
  • Air Condition Naturally. When it is cooler than 80°F outside, open two windows, one at the highest point of your house and the other on the shady side of the ground floor. This will create a natural airflow through your house. Also, cover your south-facing windows with light colored shades or blinds to reduce solar heat gain.
  • Use Fans. Since ceiling fans use only about as much electricity as a light bulb, they use about two percent of the electricity of a central air system.
  • Air Condition Wisely. If the heat and humidity is too much to be handled through natural ventilation and with the use of fans, then the air conditioner should be used. Set the temperature to 78°F and close all windows. Turn the A/C off or set the temperature higher when you leave the house. Check out the Energywise Keep It Comfortable page.
  • Use a Programmable Thermostat. This way you can avoid running the A/C or heat during the day when nobody is home but set the system to turn on before you get home.
  • Heat Wisely. In the winter, set your thermostat to 68°F. Set it cooler at night and when nobody is home. Make sure windows, doors, and any other openings are shut tightly; if you feel cool air coming in from outdoors, fix it!
  • Insulate. Whether it is winter or summer, insulation will protect you from wasting unnecessary amounts of energy and keep your home more comfortable.
  • Post this Energywi$e flyer in your home to Conserve in the Kitchen
  • Take Shorter Showers. This will not only save on water but it saves on the tremendous amount of energy required to heat water.
  • Wash Dishes By Hand. If you don’t have many dishes to do, wash them by hand. If you use the washing machine, set it to the low power and low water modes and only use it when it is full.
  • Laundry Wash clothes only when they need to be washed and only run full loads. Use cold or warm water instead of hot, which will save on energy. Hang dry your clothes as much as possible. To get that stiff feeling out, throw your clothes in the dryer for five minutes.
  • Water Plants in the Morning. Water outdoor plants only when necessary and only during the cool part of the morning. When you water during the hottest part of the day, 90% of the water can be lost through evaporation.
  • Keep The Grass Long. Set your lawnmower to the highest setting to keep your grass longer. Doing so keeps the soil shaded which prevents moisture from evaporating and keeps the grass healthier.

Waste Management

Dining (On and Off Campus)

In Your Classes


At Work




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