Assessing the Use of Mini-fridges in Traditional Style Residences on Studley Campus
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The use of fossil fuels to power the every day life of people living in Nova Scotia has many implications including contributions to the Greenhouse Effect. In order to meet the requirements of the recently ratified Kyoto Protocol, industry, institutions, as well as individuals must become responsible for their energy consumption. As an institution of higher learning, Dalhousie University has a leading role to play when in comes to energy conservation. Thus this project aimed to explore the energy consumption practices in traditional style residences at Dalhousie University, with respect to the use of mini-fridges by students. The study was carried out by a series of interviews with managerial staff, questionnaires in the form of student surveys and archival research using websites. It was found that mini-fridges are extensively present in traditional style residences, but are not being used to their full capacity. Further more, when compared to a normal size refrigerator, mini-fridges were found to be inefficient. Thus, it can be concluded that mini-fridges in residence are a source of energy waste. If mini-fridges were banned from residences, Dalhousie could stand to save approximately $15 000 during the 8 month school year in energy payments. Several recommendations are provided regarding the use mini-fridges, however, it is concluded that the main cause of energy waste in residences is the residence’s “all inclusive” set up and the resulting wasteful actions of students. Further research into this topic, as well as other sources of energy waste in residences is recommended in order for Dalhousie to live up to its role as a leader in life style changes and energy conservation.