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The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo courtesy of Grace Lipostad
Students encouraged to make sustainable products with EcoReps
Amelia KashianFebruary 22, 2024

Utility tricks and tips for college renters

The average utility bill of a college student living off campus ranges from 11-21% of their monthly rent depending on their location and the type of rental ( For students renting this can become quite pricey on top of average rent costs.

The cost for students in the Marquette area will only rise with the current energy hike that was just approved by the Marquette city commission to raise rates with the Board of Light and Power by 30%.

One way to help keep things relatively cheap is to split utilities with multiple roommates, but there are also other ways to cut these costs down.Each person uses an estimated 80-100 gallons of water each day. The largest use of household water is to flush the toilet (

One way to reduce the amount of water being used is to flush the toilet with a bucket of water. This can be done with greywater or water saved from showering, dishes, cooking water etc.

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It only takes 1-2 gallons of water and simply pouring it quickly enough into the bowl to create a flush. By using this method the water for your toilet can be turned off completely and save you gallons of water and money each day.

The second most water consuming act is bathing. Taking baths uses 35-40 gallons of water (usgs). Take quick showers as this is more inexpensive and a much more efficient use of water.

Small acts like not letting the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving can also reduce the amount of water being used in the home. Another way to conserve energy and save on the electricity bill is to only wash full loads of clothes and use cold water when doing so.

Heating water for laundry uses a lot of energy that is not needed and cold water is also less harmful to clothes.

Additionally, the use of power strips can help save on electricity because of their ability to be switch off when not in use. But remember, having appliances plugged in, although not on, still uses electricity.

The long Marquette winters mean keeping the heat up. To make the winter utility bill less expensive try to use heat efficiently. Use the oven in the winter for cooking when possible, this will help to heat your house without having to turn up the thermostat.

Turning a ceiling fan on low will push air around and away from the ceiling to distribute heat more evenly, without making the overall temperature in the house colder. Try not to cover air vents with furniture or curtains to keep your air and heat circulating.

Simply being more conscious of the water, energy, and electricity you are using each day can help to lower your utility bill every month.

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