Turn off unneeded lights

For safety reasons, never turn off communal lights (or unscrew light bulbs!), like hallways or washrooms, for which you are not already responsible (which, in all likelihood, is because you work for York University facilities). Just turn off lights which affect you personally - let others turn off their own lights!

Unplug chargers when not in use

When not actually charging, or when your device has a full charge, unplug the charger from the socket. According to the Ontario Power Authority doing this could save you 15% on your 'phantom power' energy use!

Use efficient settings

Set your computer monitor to turn off when not in use – screen savers do NOT save any electricity! Unplug your laptop from the charger if your battery doesn’t actually need charging and set it to energy saver settings so it doesn’t need to be charged as often. On your smartphone, perhaps lower the brightness a notch to extend battery life. And, of course, whenever possible, use rechargeable batteries!

Take the stairs if you can

This one is simple... if you are able to use the stairs, do so! Technology has greatly improved our quality of life, but in some cases doing the simple things, unassisted by gadgets, may be the most 'sustainable' option. Some people may need to use the elevator for mobility reasons, while other are just in a rush, but the point of this pledge is to "rethink" seemingly simple daily choices, like whether or not to use the stairs.

Unplug on holidays/weekends

Turn off your computer when not in use, like at night and on weekends for office computers. Ideally, have your monitor, computer, and any other electronics you use in the office or at your desk at home (like a cell phone charger or a lamp) plugged into a power bar with surge protector that you can simply turn off at night (or during the day when you aren't at home), which will, again, help eliminate that 15% 'phantom power' use.

Be sustainable with your appliances

Get rid of old refrigerators and replace with smaller, Energy Star fridges (which could save you $125 per year in energy costs per fridge!). Only preheat when baking and make sure your pots match the size of your stove elements. Use cold water for all clothes washers and avoid using dryer. Run only full loads in your Energy Star dishwasher. Leave a space at the back of (outside) the freezer and set it for -18 degrees Celsius. Regularly scrub your electric kettle, and unplug small appliances to eliminate 'phantom power' use.

Take the Pledge!