Shut down sustainably before holiday break!

2 min read

We all play an important role in reducing energy and conserving resources on campus and in our offices. Our actions make a big difference in helping Harvard meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2016.

Astonishingly, the energy used by a building to support just one office worker for a day causes over two times more greenhouse gas emissions than that person’s drive to and from work.

Across Harvard, the Office for Sustainability and Campus Services are encouraging employees, faculty and students to take the Cold Turkey Pledge to shut down sustainably before you go home:

  • Shut down your computer and turn off the monitor.
  • Pull the plug – in the kitchen and the office. “Phantom Loads” of electricity being used by electronics plugged in but turned off add up fast and can account for 8% of energy use or $100/year.
  1. Printer/Fax and Copy Machine
  2. Coffee Makers, Tea Kettles, Microwaves and Appliances
  3. Unplug Power Strips
  • Turn down the heat (if you control you thermostat)
  • Turn off task lighting and your office lights.
  • Close/Shut All:
  1. Windows
  2. Storm Windows, where applicable – storm windows can prevent 25-50% of heat loss through windows.
  3. Blinds
  • Check-in with the facilities team to learn your building specific shutdown procedures

Let your facilities team know if you see any leaky faucets/toilets or if you have any trouble with windows, thermostats, or lights during your shutdown.

And, remember, before you leave for vacation last one out the door shuts off the main lights. For more information please visit