did you know...

...if lined up end-to-end, the K-cup coffee pods sold in 2014 would encircle the equator 12.4 times!

K-cup landfill

K-cup Landfill

Last Out, Lights Out

last out, lights out

If your department did not receive the Last Out, Lights Out stickers shown above, please email Shari Ryan to have stickers mailed to you.

The stickers you may have noticed on nearby light switches may be small, but they carry a powerful message—Last Out, Lights Out

With the simple flip of a switch, you can help Upstate save a lot of money. How much? Turning off lights and other electronic equipment not in use can save Upstate up to 20% on energy costs.

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Office Lights

The typical Upstate office consumes 3 kilowatt hours (KWH) of electricity when the lights are left on overnight. The Environmental Protection Agency calculates that this causes 7 pounds of carbon dioxide to discharge into the atmosphere by the generating plants needed to create electricity for those lights. Leaving the lights on overnight during the week wastes $130 a year. Leave them on all weekend, every weekend, and that's another $106 a year. By the way, Upstate has more than 2,000 offices.

What can you do?

Ask yourself, "Do I even need to turn the lights on?" Depending on the time of day and season of the year, if your workstation is near a window, there may be enough natural light for you to work comfortably.

If you do use the lights, turn them off when you:

  • leave for a meeting
  • go home for the evening
  • go home for the weekend or away on vacation

Conference Room Lights

The typical Upstate conference room's lights consume 8 kilowatt hours (KWH) of electricity if the lights are left on overnight. The Environmental Protection Agency calculates that this causes 14 pounds of carbon dioxide to discharge into the atmosphere by the generating plants needed to create electricity for those lights.

What can you do?

Turn the lights out when you:

  • are the last to leave a conference room
  • walk past an empty conference room that has its lights on

Desktop Computers

A desktop computer with monitor consumes 1,139 kilowatt hours of electricity when left on continuously for a year. The Environmental Protection Agency calculates that thus causes 1,958 pounds of carbon dioxide to discharge into the atmosphere by the generating plants needed to create electricity for a single computer and monitor.

What can you do?

  • turn off your computer and monitor when you leave work
  • enable the sleep mode, which will reduce electricity use and carbon emissions by an estimated 79% over the course of a year

Each employee will need to consider his or her work situation to determine the best action. Call the Help Desk (4-4115) with any questions.

Window Air Conditioners

A typical window air conditioner consumes 1,200 kilowatt hours (KWH) of electricity during an average summer. The Environmental Protection Agency calculates that this causes one metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) to be discharged into the atmosphere by the generating plant needed to create the electricity to run the air conditioner.

What can you do?

  • turn off your air conditioner nights and weekends
  • try to get by with a slightly warmer setting to reduce electricity used to achieve cooling levels

One simple action, multiplied thousands of times a day on our campus, can make a huge difference—not just in dollars saved, but in the amount of energy we use as well.

So these stickers are a gentle reminder to you and your Upstate colleagues—if you're the last to leave a room, please turn out the lights.


For information on how you, your department, your team, your class can become involved in Upstate's Think Green program, contact us at green@upstate.edu.

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