Think green: simple things you can do to help save energy in the SSL

Pull the plug on climate change imageLighting the library and running equipment such as PCs, photocopiers and laptops are two of the SSL’s most significant environmental impacts due to carbon dioxide emissions resulting from electricity generation.

We are currently reducing the environmental impact of our lighting by replacing all the ceiling lights with energy efficient LED lights.  This is part of a University of Oxford Estates Services project to improve lighting efficiency throughout the Manor Road Building.  Around 1,100 lights have been replaced in the building so far out of about 4,000.  The new LED lights use less than half the electricity of the old fluorescent lights and we estimate that this is currently saving 40,700 watts.  This equates to switching off 626 of the old lights.  Further energy savings are being achieved by new motion sensors in library study areas which automatically turn off the lights when no readers are present.

We have also taken many steps to reduce the impact of electrical equipment in the library, such as programming the photocopiers to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity and turning some equipment off during periods of low demand, but we need your help to do more!

Here are seven simple things you can do to help save energy in the SSL:

  1. Switch off laptops and mobile devices when not in use – easy and effective!
  2. Enable power saving settings on your laptop – do this once and then forget about it!
  3. Turn off your device’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use – this will also make your battery last longer between charges.
  4. Reduce the screen brightness on your mobile phone & laptop – another great battery saving tip.
  5. Unplug any USB devices from your laptop, eg external hard drives, when they are not needed – these can still draw power when not in use.
  6. Switch off the Reader PC monitors after use – library staff are now in the habit of turning off their monitors when they leave their desks – if we can do it, so can you!
  7. Turn off the lights in the Discussion Rooms, Information Skills Training Room and Q-Step Centre Teaching Lab when you leave – yes, you are allowed to turn off these lights and we would love you to do so!

These may seem like small actions, but collectively they can add up to make a big difference.  Thank you for your help in greening the SSL and please do tell us your top energy-saving tips.

New LED lights

New energy efficient LED lights in the Social Science Library

For further tips, a fun way to test your climate change knowledge, and a chance to win 50 tubs of ice cream for your college, try the NUS/University of Oxford Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz which we are proud to support.

See the Greening the SSL web pages to find out more about what we have been doing to improve the library’s environmental sustainability.

To learn more about the University’s work on energy saving and carbon management see the annual Environmental Sustainability Reports.

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