It’s a simple idea. But as I write from the 1st floor of Geisel Library, it’s alarming how many laptops I see plugged in. It’s nearly impossible that all of these computers are in dire need of a charge. In fact, I have been peeking at the power meters of those sitting in my vicinity (creeper alert), and the majority of them have a full battery.
I understand the occasional mishap – I’ve done it myself. You come home after a long day at work, and you realize you’ve left your computer on, with the battery plugged into the wall, draining watts of energy. Or perhaps you’re like my mother, and leave the laptop turned on, plugged in, screen open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s crazy – not only are we wasting energy, but we’re crippling the usable life of our electronics.
HP has a Carbon Footprint Calculator that allows you to measure your carbon emissions based on the amount of hours you use your machine in a given week, taking into consideration things like how often you shut your computer down, and whether or not you use a power management system. I entered the information for what I would consider to be an “average” user: using your laptop twice a day, for an hour each, and only completely shutting down 50% of the time. The weekly carbon emissions are relative to driving 85 miles in a standard emissions motor vehicle. And I know that the “average” user I depicted in that case is far below the usage of a typical MBA student.
So turn off your computer when you’re done with it for the day. Be mindful to unplug the battery when you’ve reached a full charge. And while you’re at it, unplug your cell phone.
I’m not sure how my classmates feel, but my winter break seemed to last much longer than four weeks. Perhaps it was the way that I recklessly approached the weekend immediately following finals. But for that, I am forgiven – it was my birthday! I spent the first week of break here in San Diego – cleaning my apartment, reorganizing the closet – and ended it by attending my first San Diego Chargers’ home game.
Then I flew east to spend Christmas & New Year’s with family and loved ones. The temperature in NJ was fairly moderate – it was 60 and sunny on my first day back. I was able to spend quality time with Hershey (my chocolate lab), schedule some informational interviews pertaining to the environmental space, and make up for lost-time devouring my mother’s home-cooked meals. And that was just the first week.
By the time Christmas Eve came around, I had accomplished all of the scholarly tasks that I had established for myself over the holiday break. And that’s when the “hibernation” began to set in. The week after Christmas included over-consumption of holiday leftovers, over-consumption of cookies and desserts, and under-consumption of those stored calories. 2012 was brought in with a charity event featuring 1,000 people plunging into the Atlantic Ocean; with New Year’s Day being rounded out with another Sunday night NFL game – Cowboys @ Giants. The next morning, I traveled back to UC San Diego.
I had a hard time readjusting to the Western time zone – thanks in no part to late nights I spent downtown, re-familiarizing myself with classmates, and learning of the travels they made during their respective breaks. By the time class resumed for the winter quarter, my Christmas –break “to-do list” was incomplete. Among the unfinished tasks were “write a blog for the student website.” Well he we are, one week into the winter quarter, and I’m finally getting around to that list of incomplete errands.
The funny thing is that list of jobs I never got done over Christmas break has expanded, thanks to the assignments I received during the first week of classes. The schedule for the winter quarter is set up like a practical joke – it starts slow and has no Friday classes – allowing for a 4-day weekend at the end of the first week. So here I am trying not to fall prey to that hilarious prank, trying to get ahead for my classes, trying to cross everything off my “to-do list” before the responsibilities pile up.
Due to the upcoming Bay Area Trek, there is only one day of scheduled class this week. As much as I’d like to stay in hibernation mode, I’m realizing it’s time to snap into full-blown school-mode. I gave into hibernation on Christmas Eve – that was three weeks ago – but class started one week ago. Shockingly, the laws related to the time value of money and quantitative analyses haven’t rushed back to memory as quickly as I had hoped. One week into the second quarter, I guess it’s time to prepare for class!