October 5th 2011 – E4
Picture this, it’s a sub zero night in Ringe New Hampshire. You just printed out a paper for class and noticed you forgot to type your name on it, so obviously you have to reprint the paper again. Would you a) get bundled up and walk across campus to recycle the paper you messed up on or b) throw it in your trash can right next to you. Now picture this, you’re about to go to class and realize you’re thirsty. Would you a) reach into your fridge and pour the water in your Brita water filter into an eco friendly water bottle or b) pull out a cold plastic water bottle out of your fridge so you can get to class quickly. If you answered b to these questions you’re a person that is all about convenience and maybe somewhat lazy. We first realized that laziness is probably one of the biggest reasons why people are so wasteful.
Before moving into E4 we came up with a list of ways we can succeed in this sustainability housing challenge: recycle, turn off water when not using, energy efficient light bulbs, refrain from buying plastic and Styrofoam, using glass reusable plates rather than plastic plates that would be thrown out, refrain from buying items in bulky wasteful packaging, shorter showers, unplugging unused electronics, using a Brita water filter rather than plastic water bottles, turning off lights when not being used, and buying products that are in general labeled better for the environment. The first thing we noticed when we moved in was how much of a challenge this really would be. In all honesty we aren’t the type of extremist people who form rallies to save the world or anything like that, but even before living in E4 we all have taken a pride in benefiting our environment by doing tasks like recycling, turning off the water while brushing our teeth, or using eco-friendly water bottles.
So your probably wondering why I referred to living in sustainability housing as difficult if its just doing simple tasks like saving water or unplugging unused electronics? Well after becoming extra cautious about being sustainable we noticed the bigger problem on why people aren’t sustainable and eco-friendly is because of the stores, companies and restaurants. After moving in and getting settled we noticed how much excess packaging and plastic and Styrofoam is used when packaging products. Even just going to the grocery store, do you take your items home in plastic bags or do you use reusable ones? When you go out to eat and you take home leftovers what kind of container do you get?
We have decided that the opportunity of the sustainable living for under class students in upper class housing was a fantastic idea and motivator for students to help contribute to healthier world while also getting the benefits of better housing. We have all enjoyed this challenge of living sustainably and urge you to do so also. Even if you take small measures like using a reusable eco friendly water bottle, or taking shorter showers, every bit helps.
E4 Sustainable Living Resident