By Tahlia Terhune, Guest Columnist

Don’t leave sustainability up to the experts — it is something anyone can join in. You can apply efficiency to your residential life through some simple steps. With winter approaching, you will want to be warming your dorm.

Living a sustainable lifestyle is incredibly easy and will hardly consume any extra time. A search online can offer simple ways to be more efficient when heating your room. This is valuable information, because it’s applicable to any living situation where you will need to keep warm.

Small steps ranging from finding drafts to getting curtains are easy ways to contribute to greener living when it comes to heating.

By purchasing curtains and hanging them over your window, you add an exterior barrier to cold weather. You could even substitute the curtains for blankets. This will aid in preventing cool air from entering your room.

Another tip is to find a draft if you have one. Drafts can let in cold air and alternatively let warm air escape. By covering them up or plugging the source, your space can hold warm air better.

Using extra blankets is an easy and cozy way to keep warm at night and allows you to lower the thermostat. Wool blankets are ideal for keeping warm and trapping body heat. Another great way to keep warm is to share body heat — what a great excuse to cuddle up and watch movies.

Us Pacific Lutheran University students should be particularly interested in this. At this university, our main source of heating is natural gas according to the Major Institution Master Plan of 2011. For the 2009-10 school year, it costs approximately $648,490 dollars for campus wide heating.

Campus wide electricity costs are even higher. You can help contribute to lowering costs by applying energy efficient tips to your life. The best part is the knowledge gained now about green living will translate into your future life when becoming a homeowner, renter, etc.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 44 percent of a homeowner’s utility bill is from heating and cooling costs. If you practice sustainable habits now, you’ll save yourself money each month and use fewer resources from our environment.

These are just a few out of hundreds of ways you can contribute. These aren’t elaborate strategies for being efficient, so don’t leave it up to the experts. You can help contribute to the sustainability at PLU from your very own room. Hang up some blankets, get cozy and keep warm this winter.

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