Much of the electricity we use at St. Olaf comes from coal, the cheapest and most polluting electricity source. Coal is directly linked to global warming, acid rain, asthma, the destruction of Appalachian lands, and mercury poisoning. Roughly 50% of St. Olaf’s carbon emissions comes directly from electricity use. Efficiency and conservation are the most achievable and smart ways to reduce our coal use. You can help by conserving energy and assessing clean energy opportunities for the college!

– Turn off lights when you leave a room, laptops when not in use, and power strips when appliances do not need to be on.

– Use LED decorative lights rather than regular string lights.

– Use LED or compact florescent light bulbs in your room.

– Use cold water with laundry and only wash and dry full loads. (or use a drying rack instead of the dryer!)

– Consider how much you use each appliance in your room and its energy use. Do you need it or need to have it plugged in?

– Avoid leaving windows open, especially in the winter.

– Turn your heater off or on low before you leave for break!


Credit: How to be a Sustainable Ole Booklet: Will Lutterman (, Zoey Slater (, Emily Stets (