Hey everybody, this is the EcoTeam coming to you LIVE from New York City… just kidding- 200 Vernon next to Macalester College 🙂
We are the residents this year at the EcoHouse where the countertops are made from recycled paper, solar tubes give us natural light during the day, and the basement is filled with lost artifacts and treasures from previous years. (P.S.- Crew Team, if you are reading this- we have your onesie uniforms).
We try to live sustainably around here. We compost, recycle, buy local, and conserve energy, but could we be better? Could we up our game without living like cavemen?
We aren’t foraging in the woods, but we are testing our limits. Every week, we will challenge ourselves to take one specific step in becoming more sustainable, more eco-freindly. We want these weekly challenges to be things that ordinary people could accomplish. Hopefully, we can prove that saving water, saving electricity, and basically saving the world is as easy as pie. It doesn’t require an extensive lifestyle change- just little steps.
We’re going to earn our black-belt in sustainability. Are you with us?
Challenge 1: Earning our White Belt
This might shock you- for our first week we focused on saving electricity! On Thursday night, we sat on our comfy couch and set goals. We decided that we would unplug all of our appliances. Who needs a microwave clock anyways? We also decided that we were going to keep the light off as much as possible and use small lights versus overhead lights when possible. We unwillingly got up off the couch and unplugged all our lamps, phone chargers, ect.
Sustainably Savvy Superwoman:I learned how to cook with little light and not to charge my phone overnight. A regret is that I feel like I spent more electricity overall by studying longer for my midterms. I felt sad waking up early to study with sunlight and ended up turning light on anyway because it was dark outside until 7!
Waste-reducing Wonder Woman: The biggest hassle for me, was having to pull out plugs and plug my laptop and phone charger back in as need be. Honestly, if that is my biggest complaint, then I’d say this is a challenge that anyone could accept! This week, I learned to do my readings while the sun was still shining and do my laptop work at night. I even stole coffee from my work-place instead of brewing it myself at home. I saved energy, but I used pre-packaged creamer at work. 😦 I also stopped leaving the lights on in the kitchen for the last person to come home. It’s a nice gesture, but we’ve gotta be ruthless.
Locavore-ous Lavagirl: I usually leave my computer plugged in constantly, so it was hard for me to remember to unplug when I wasn’t using it. I had to switch around my extension cords so I could have my phone plugged in at night (aka my alarm clock) but leave all other lights and electronics unplugged. That said, having to plug in appliances to use them was no hassle at all. I also found success turning on as few lights as possible, by keeping my window blinds open and turning on a small desk lamp when it got too dark. I also stopped turning on the light in the bathroom during morning showers (which was only feasible due to the solatube that kept it rather dim instead of pitch black).
All in all it feels like a successful week, though the final verdict awaits until we get some stats up in here. #Hellastats
Tune in next week to find out just how much electricity we were actually able to save by doing such simple and easy tricks!
EcoTeam to AlphaControl: Mission accomplished. Waiting on our next assignment.