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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Feb. 27, 2009

Green tip of the week: Simplify

by Merry Rankin, Director of sustainability

Take a minute over the next week and do a little inventory of your office and home. Make a note of the number of duplicate electronic items you have. For example, how many refrigerators, coffee makers, clock radios, printers and copiers are there?

Next, consult with your colleagues and housemates to see if you can reduce some of the duplications. This might mean you'll have to leave your desk, room or work area every now and again. It might require a little more organization. But that's not a bad thing, is it? Especially if you're saving money.

How much can you save?

For a quick idea of how much you might save by pulling a few plugs, check the chart at

If you want more precise accounting, grab a calculator and click the "formula for estimating energy costs" link near the chart. You'll find the U.S. Department of Energy's easy formula to use in figuring your duplicates' costs.

For your cost/kilowatt hour, use $.0743 for ISU offices and residence hall rooms, and $.0899 for Ames Electric Department customers. More information on Ames city customer rates is online.

If you are not an Ames Electric Deparment customer, get rates from your electricity provider.

Live Green!

More information on Iowa State's "Live Green!" initiative is online.