Energy Conservation

Energy conservation is an important component of Bowdoin’s Climate Action Plan. Every little bit DOES make a difference, so please help us cut our costs and our emissions with the simple steps below - then encourage your friends and roomates to do the same!

Energy Saving Tips


  • Turn off computers when not in use.
  • Turn off lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, classrooms and common areas when you leave.
  • Unplug chargers/appliances when not in use – they can use up to 25% of their energy just by being plugged in!
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Use energy efficient CFL or LED light bulbs, which use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs (get FREE ones from the sustainability office – email us!)
  • Monitor electricity use on campus with Bowdoin's Building Dashboard, which displays real time electricity use in 40+ buildings.
  • Study in common areas to share light!
  • Air dry clothes.
  • Buy Energy Star appliances.
  • Email Facilities with heating and cooling issues, or call them at x3333.

Energy Star Microwave/Fridge


Help Bowdoin reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions by using only Energy Star rated appliances. This certification is awarded by the EPA to products that use less energy, save money and are better for the environment. Mini-refrigerators can account for roughly 65 percent of the energy use in a dorm room since they run 24 hours a day! If you plan on buying a mini-fridge for your room, visit the Energy Star website for a sortable listing of mini-fridges that receive the Energy Star rating.

Want to rent a microwave/fridge for the school year? Since the fall of 2007, Bowdoin has offered a special program with University Logistics for students interested in renting one of the most efficient Energy Star models available - the MicroFridge. The MicroFridge is a microwave, refrigerator and freezer all in one unit! All you need to do is order, either click on the University Logistics website or by calling their  Toll Free # (800)525-7307, and Bowdoin will work with them to make sure it is delivered to your room before you arrive to campus!

CFL & LED light bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights are better for the environment than traditional incandescent bulbs because they use 75-90% less energy, reducing emissions associated with electricity generation.  CFLs can last up to 10 years and LEDs can last as long as 20 years.  You can receive free CFL and/or LED light bulbs from the Sustainability Office – email us and we will have an EcoRep deliver them to your room!

Be sure to recycle your old CFL bulbs as they contain trace amounts of mercury. Leave the bulb, along with a note, asking your housekeeper to recycle the bulb as part of Bowdoin's universal waste program.

Computer Purchasing

Bowdoin's IT department only purchases EPEAT Gold rated computers unless there is a specific need for specialized equipment with no EPEAT certified option. This past year (2015), Bowdoin received the EPEAT Purchaser Award for demonstrating excellence in the green procurement of electronics. Bowdoin also considers the power ratings (if available) when purchasing items such as monitors and televisions. In order to reduce waste and save money, Bowdoin does not necessarily replace a monitor when replacing a computer, but if a new monitor is needed we do factor in energy efficiency when purchasing. For laptops, Bowdoin also provides laptop cases that are made from recycled or recyclable materials.