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Green Living and Saving Energy

By CGordon 01 Mar 2023

Help us make our residences, and Glasgow in general, a greener place to live in. We've put together some tips for living green and saving energy. We've also shared some handy links for maintenance reporting, finding the refuse and recycling bins at your site, and more!

Ways to save energy

  1. Turn appliances off
    If you're not using an appliance, turn it off. There's no point in your TV being on or your speakers playing music if you've gone to the kitchen to make dinner. Appliances also use energy when on standby (up to 25% of the energy they'd use when on), so unplug appliances when you're finished with them.
  2. Switch off the lights
    Ever heard your Mum complain that "it looks like the Blackpool illuminations in here"? Well, if you're used to leaving all the lights on then she was probably right. Turn off lights when you're not in the room.
  3. Turn down the radiator
    If it's too hot, turn down your radiator thermostat before opening windows. If your thermostat isn't working properly, report it to your site office. Do not cover your radiator either, as this stops heat circulating throughout the room.
  4. Use the weather to your advantage
    During Spring/Summer, keep curtains closed during the day to keep your room cool. During Autumn/Winter, open curtains during the day to let the sun warm your room, and then close them at night to keep heat in.
  5. Wash clothes in full loads
    Save water and energy by only doing full loads of washing. If you only have half a load worth of dirty laundry, why not save some money and go halfs with a flatmate?
  6. Be clever about cooking
    ○ To save time and energy, cut your food into smaller pieces so it cooks faster.
    ○ Use lids on pans to retain heat.
    ○ Use pots and pans that fit the size of the hob plates.
    ○ Cook multiple dishes in the oven - gather your flatmates and cook at the same time.
    ○ Keep the oven door shut (the temperature drops by 25-75 degrees each time it's opened).
    ○ Don't overfill the kettle.
    ○ Use the kettle to boil water for cooking, as it's more efficient and quicker.
    ○ Let food cool before putting it in the fridge.
    ○ Microwaves generally use less energy than ovens and are on for a shorter period of time.
  7. Turn off the tap
    Save water by turning the tap off while brushing your teeth. Try to keep showers short too!You can also save water by using your plug. If your plug is missing, or your tap doesn't turn off properly, report it to your site office. 

Get recycling

It's important that we keep recyclable waste out of landfill, so we've put recycling facilities at each residence. To find out what you can recycle, which bins to put your recycling in, and where they are, head over to this article.

Here are our top tips for recycling:

  1. Wash and squashWash out all plastic, glass, and metal containers before recycling them, and squash them (if possible) to save room.
  2. Leave glass labelsLabels are taken off of glass bottles and jars mechanically during the recycling process, so you don't need to bother scraping them off.
  3. Remove caps and lids from plastic containersThe lids of plastic bottles and containers tend to be made from a different kind of plastic, therefore they should be removed so they can be recycled separately.
  4. Prep your paperPrepare your paper to be recycled by removing staples, plastic envelope windows, paper clips, tape and labels.
  5. Recycle bits of that pizza boxUnfortunately you cannot recycle cardboard that has food grease on it, but the rest of the box is perfectly good for recycling. Cut or rip off the greasy parts, and recycle the rest!
  6. Save and reuse plastic bags
    Plastic bags now cost 5p, which may not be much but you'll wish you'd saved that change when you're short of money for the laundry machines! Keep a plastic bag in your uni bag incase you do an unplanned food shop on the way home. You can also use them as bin liners for your bedroom bucket or recycle them at special recycle points - usually found at supermarkets.

Want to know more about green living and energy saving?

Check out our wee green guides and visit the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team (GUEST) website.

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CGordon UofG Residence Life
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