Throw-back to School

August 26, 2015

Summer’s end may conjure mixed emotions. For some, it’s exciting—you rush to take advantage of the season with a whirlwind of last-minute beach visits and county fairs before cooling temperatures finally give your HVAC system a break. Yet, at some point, while you watch one of the last beautiful summer sunsets, or walk by the local shop windows full of notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils, back to school thoughts set in.

Let’s throw it back to what school was like before online classes, laptops and tablets, smart phones and the World Wide Web. The swirl of the wrist stretch was a common practice as you frantically took notes by hand. Shared computers were the only way to crank out papers and use the printer. Once you printed out all your research, those pages had to be saved in a snappy three-ring binder. Needed to look up an unfamiliar topic? Better carve out a half hour to sort through the card catalog.

Fast forward to life as a student today. Technology has completely changed the way we communicate, teach and learn. Big, bulky backpacks filled with heavy textbooks, notebooks and pencils may be headed the way of the dot matrix printer, yet the back to school shopping experience remains a key marker of the end of summer. And, just like always, shopping for new, fresh supplies to kick off the school year can be exciting, confusing, and overwhelming at the same time.

If you’re looking for ways to save, let this handy list of energy-efficient back to school supplies, tips and facts help set you and your student up for a great year:

  • Find energy-efficient lighting for homework and study sessions! ENERGY STAR® certified LEDs come in a range of light appearance from comfortable warm white light to cool daylight which is great quality light for reading! Be sure to look for 5000K – 6500K for good reading light. Click here to find easy steps to help you find the right bulb. Cool fact: If you placed an ENERGY STAR® certified LED in your child’s nursery today, it would last until they were in college!
  • Look for the trusted blue label, the ENERGY STAR, on the latest products - from smart ultra-high-definition (UHD) TVs and tablets to soundbars and wireless speakers.
  • Activate power management on your computer.  Computer power management (CPM) features automatically place computers into a low-power "sleep mode" after a period of inactivity. Simply touching the mouse or keyboard "wakes" the computer in seconds.
  • Use Advanced Power Strips to minimize standby power by cutting the power to your electronics when they are not in use! Click here to learn more and find discounts.
  • Recycle your old electronics. Learn how to safely recycle electronics in your area here.
  • Find inspiration to “green your dorm room” here.
  • Get the kids involved: make learning about saving energy more fun with interactive websites and educational activities for the home and the classroom. Get started here.
  • Did you know that school buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR? In fact, elementary schools have won the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition in past years, reducing their energy usage by about 50 percent.

The pencil sharpener may no longer be the most energy-intensive piece of equipment in your back-to-school arsenal. But, by following these tips, you can start saving energy now to start the school year off right!

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