Beyond the Diag - Off Campus Housing

On top of rent each month, you will likely be responsible for paying many of the utilities for your off-campus house or apartment. Here are some ways to significantly cut costs while reducing your carbon footprint:

Energy Efficiency

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room and use natural light when possible
  • Keep your fridge stocked. Refrigerators and freezers are most efficient when they are full
  • Keep thermostats set at 68° F during cold months and 76° F during warm seasons
  • Unplug electronic devices that aren’t in use – they still consume energy even when turned off
  • Remember to close doors and windows when turning on heating/cooling systems
  • Minimize overhead lighting use by switching to desk lamps or book lamps instead
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with long-lasting compact fluorescent light bulbs
  • Keep blinds closed in the summer to block out sunlight and heat
  • Cover windows with plastic in the winter to keep out cold drafts

Water Conservation

  • Buy a reusable water bottle instead of using disposable, plastic ones – the University provides over 40 Refill Stations throughout campus for your convenience
  • Wash clothes in cold water to save energy (and help maintain their color)
  • Shorten your shower by 1-2 minutes each day, which saves up to 150 gallons of water per month
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth, wash your hands, and shave
  • Use a dishwasher if you have one – they use significantly less water than cleaning dishes by hand
  • If your house or apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher, use cold or lukewarm water (instead of hot) to clean your dishes.

Interested in learning more about green practices? Consider applying to be a Planet Blue Ambassador! The goal of the program is to create a culture of sustainability among students by promoting environmentally-friendly behavior off campus. For more information, check out sustainability.umich.edu/pba.