By Madison McCollum, Opinions Editor
Listen, I love water. I’m not talking about a freshly filtered glass from my Brita™ pitcher (no, seriously, I think I’ve used that thing a handful of times in two years). I’m talking about a nice, warm shower after a day that’s just...too long. Or the fact that I can run scalding hot water over a queso covered bowl until every speck is gone so, basically, I just have to ghost over it with soap for it to be clean. See- but this love is a problem. I didn’t use to be like this. I didn’t use to be so wasteful.
This mindset of “I’ve already paid for it” or “I don’t pay for it” is something I hear a lot in the Residence Hall. It’s something my roommate and I have discussed at length when we hit one of our late night talks about the problems of society. And, honestly? It’s starting to get out of control. I know someone (snitches get stitches) that takes a 40-60 minute shower every two days...after they run it for 10 to 15 to “get it hot.” I’m not innocent. I’ll admit it. I have 100 percent developed terrible, horrendous acts of energy and resource waste. I’ve stayed in over my childhood allowance of five to eight minutes in the shower. I’ve left the lights on in the apartment because I didn’t want to unlock the door to go back in and turn them off or even the TV playing all night because I didn’t want to get up and turn it off. It’s convenient and lazy. I know that, but I’ve developed these habits and it’s starting to bleed into aspects of my life that I never intended for it to...to the one place it never should: my parent’s house.
It’s gotten to the point where I go home and my brother, a ripe 18 years of age, has begun to lecture me on my filthy habit of turning on every. Single. Light. as I go through the house because I don’t like the low-light environment and, honestly? It’s the same practice in Fugate.
This is a problem. Sure, we aren’t actively paying for energy or water usage or seeing that month-to-month hike in the electric bill. But if every resident in the halls has usage habits like this, I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised if that’s one of the key reasons to the raise in housing rates. But, for us seniors who are #DippingOut here in three months and couldn’t care less- think about the bills we’re going to pay here in a couple months? What would our parents say if they knew the terrible habits we’d developed just because WE aren’t footing the bill?
I’m not saying we need to start hopping in the shower and scrub ourselves down at a speed that could rival the Flash, but I do think we should all try to be a little more conscious of how we are using the facilities. I understand the “get my money’s worth” mindset, really, I do. It’s the same reason I go up for another plate at a buffet, but we need to think big picture. We need to think of planet Earth. Of the surplus of energy we’re wasting with each drastic change to the thermostat because we set it to 80 when we left. Mindfulness is key to issues like this.
Even if you’re not with the Go Green movement, you’ll at least have a safe place to practice some good energy conservation habits and save your post-grad pockets some green for the day you get your sweet new pad.