Growing up, most of us never had to worry about leaving electric devices on in the house. Our parents either scolded us so we stopped doing it, or turned the lights and TV off when we left the room. Similarly, when you live in a dorm there’s nothing to worry about as Boston College is paying the electric bill, and there are only a few lights and electrical devices that can be left on in the first place. However, in off campus residences there are lots of rooms, and often many more electrical devices consuming power. It is easy to forget about powering down, and we can get lazy about things like leaving stereos, TV’s, lights, and game systems on.
A good solution here is to take a good look at the electrical bill and provide financial incentives to the whole house. Sure, excess electrical usage may only amount to 20$ extra per person per month, but it is unnecessary wasted money. Looking at past bills, it is possible to pinpoint months that you have gotten lazy, and refocus your efforts after a bad month. Just having the electricity on your mind should be reminder enough to turn off that hall light or not leave your Xbox on.
PROBLEM 3: DISPOSABLE EVERYTHING!
Many students buy paper plates, solo cups, and use disposable silverware. No need to clean your dishes, just throw them out! While this is certainly convenient, it is extremely wasteful and doesn’t prepare you for real life whatsoever. There are houses in which some of the residents use permanent utensils, plates, and cups while others, wanting to avoid dish duties, use strictly disposable items. This is especially bad, because now the house is using water to wash their dishes but also generating lots of excess waste from the disposable items. Even if these plastics can be recycled, one must remember that the phrase is “Reduce Reuse Recycle” and using disposable items jumps right to the third of the three choices.
Simply to stick to permanent items as much as possible. They will help keep off-campus houses more tidy, prepare to maintain a real household someday, and most importantly cut down on lots of daily waste.
About the Author: Gannon Voelbel, Boston College alum, graduated with a degree in Economics and Biology.