Going Green in College Part III: Preparing Your College Apartment for Winter

Have you prepped your college apartment for winter yet? If not, now is a good time to do so, especially as Winter Break is just over the horizon. Sure, some of you attend universities where winter practically doesn’t exist (Florida, Texas, California), but even if you’re warm now, heed these tips for when you live in frigid city in the future. It’s particularly important to understand how the weather can result in steep utility costs, late night shivers or even backlash from your landlord. Here are some tips to promote going green in college as you prepare your college apartment for winter:

Adjust the thermostat
If you want to feel the heat, set the thermostat to a warm cozy temperature only during the hours when you’ll be home. You’ll save a lot of money if you turn the heat off before you leave your apartment for class all day or an all-nighter in the library. Turning the heat down even by 3 degrees goes a long way. We, along with utility companies, recommend 68 degrees! Worst case scenario: throw on some sweat pants, layer up nicely and get cozy as you keep the heat down.

Snag some heating accessories
Lots of layers still not cutting it? Consider buying an affordable space heater for your bedroom or living room. My personal favorite is the Lasko Remote Control Ceramic Tower Heater - that remote is a such a savior when getting out bed is the last thing you want to do in the morning! You know the feeling: class starts in 15 minutes, the floor is cold and the sky is bleak. You wish it was warmer in your warm. Get warm before getting out of bed with a space heater!

Insulate your doors and windows
Looking for more ways to cut the costs of utilities? Go for some insulation curtains that will blackout your room and keep the heat in (you’ll sleep better too!).  Insulate your windows using shrink-wrap plastic sheeting to seal off drafts. Considering buying door draft stoppers (around $3) to prevent cold air from seeping in through cracks.

Talk to your landlord
Although you’re not very prone to communicating with your landlord, you can avert disaster by asking them a few questions to comply with their winter housing standards.

  1. What temperature should I set the thermostat at when I leave for Winter Break so the pipes don’t freeze?
  2. What’s the best way to salt the walkway or the stairs so I don’t slip and fall on my head?
  3. Where should I buy a snow shovel?
  4. Will I be issued if I don't shovel the snow from the sidewalk?  (In some cities, maybe. The City of Chicago has issued an ordinance requiring tenants to shovel!)

Use your landlord as a resource as you prepare for the winter—you’ll thank them later.

Going green in college shouldn’t just be a trend—make it a way of life! A few of the tips above require some extra cash, but splitting up the costs and responsibilities amongst your roommates should lead to a warmer, more cost-effective winter for all!

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Living Off Campus

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