WWU's GEF Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm Pilot

Turn Down The Heat


If there’s anything I’ve learned throughout my time with SEED, it’s that sustainability can be achieved in unexpected ways. Take our refrigerator, for instance. Our Energy Star Electrolux model replaced an old Kennmore fridge from 1999, and the change produces an impressive result.  The old model was estimated to use approximately 654 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year while the new fridge uses an estimated 387 kWh. A difference of over 250 kWh still impresses me.

But who thinks of saving energy with their fridge? It’s just an appliance that’s easy to forget about until your leftovers start turning purple and sprouting mushrooms. But knowing just how big a difference our fridge change has for our energy output inspired me to look for other inconspicuous methods to save energy.

After searching online, I found my challenge. During the week of Thanksgiving when Meriel returned home, I turned off the heater in our living room. I also closed the blinds to retain the heat that was already there. I discovered numerous articles regarding how much energy this technique can save. Closing the blinds (especially at night) helps hold the heat in. During the day, if there’s sun (aka natural heat) open up the blinds to let new heat in. Then you rinse and repeat.


I hate the cold, and I was really reluctant to give this a try. But I was happily surprised to discover that aside from adding a sweater to my daily wardrobe, I felt no change whatsoever. While this may have been a more difficult challenge to attempt during colder weather, giving it a shot helped me realize that it was doable. It’s so easy to just close the blinds in the evenings, and the benefits quickly overtake the few seconds of effort.

Libby Keller

We love saving energy, time and money! Help your living space by using this checklist as you leave for break this winter!



Join us every week as we save our world one small challenge at a time!

Have a Happy Holidays Everyone!

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