Dorm room: 1986 vs 2013

By, Nancy Bsales

In 1986, I packed my parents’ Impala and made the trip to college. I had one trunk, a clock radio, a boombox, and some toiletries. Back then my environmental impact from electronics on the campus was less than 3 kWh or about 3 lbs of CO2e per day, and that was similar to most of my classmates. Now, college dorm rooms look pretty different. Today, students are showing up to school with enough clothes to dress a village, a laptop, a printer, a flat screen, an iPod dock,  a gaming systems, a smart phone, and a mini-fridge. These electronic devices draw power even when turned off, and this vampire power can account for up to 10% of energy use (US EPA).

NYU Green put together a great infographic showing the annual energy usage of residence halls, a tremendous difference from 25 years ago. Vampire power

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