Living in Chicago, at the corner of Lake Michigan and a seemingly endless supply of water, we Chicagoans don’t always think about how much water we use on a day-to-day basis. However, our proximity to a large volume of water should not prevent us from putting our excessive use under a fine magnifying glass. It seems that there is a stigma in which many people in this region, and any region with as much freshwater as us, will point fingers to the West, Southwest region of the U.S. and angrily lecture on how “they” need to conserve water and stop wasting so much! How “they” should not live in a region that is so dry! The list goes on and on, but it side blinds us to the reality that we are not angels in the Midwest either.
Although we live in an area rich in freshwater, our large populations in areas such as Chicago, and the thought process of many people that the water is an endless supply, makes us lose sight of conservation and we instead use, use, and consume some more. Yes, water for bathing, cooking, and other essentials is necessary. However, is it really necessary to wash our sidewalks every other day during the summer? Is it really necessary for us to run the water for 5 min before we actually get into the shower? No! It definitely is not necessary!
So what am I getting at here? Not everyone is going to stop their habits to conserve, but can we at least improve upon that? Yes, yes we definitely can.
I would like to say that it starts with the individual and grows upon that, but that isn’t true in every case. Right now, the way I see it, is that it starts with the institution and then expands. In our case, it starts with Roosevelt University and will, and very well should, expand to our students, staff, and faculty and we will all, hopefully and subsequently, change our thought processes and actually consider: where our tap water comes from, what process gets that water to us and, more so, what process the water undergoes to make it safe for consumption.
This is why Roosevelt University is raising the bar on its sustainability and conservation efforts. We want to raise consciousness, educate students, faculty, and staff, and waste less, we want to waste a lot less… preferably we don’t want to waste any water!
For some ideas on ways that you can save water checkout http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/ Also check out this recent article (http://rutorch.com/2014/03/22/a-lesson-in-sustainability-water-conservation-for-students/) in the Torch by Samantha Reid to get some more ideas on what Roosevelt is doing.
Lastly, I’d like to announce Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week, which is approaching fast (and after that, the end of the semester will be here in no time)! As such, there will be a lot going on with plenty of ways to get involved throughout all of Earth Week! The events that week are as follows:
Monday, April 21st-Friday, April 24th marks Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week! All week students, faculty, and staff are encouraged- strongly encouraged- to get involved in many events! On the 14th floor of Wabash, all week long, there will be a box for EWaste (for any electronics, batteries, etc. that you would like to get rid of). By putting any EWaste in here, versus throwing it out as trash, students help to bring down pollution and divert that waste from landfills. Students are also encouraged to Bike2Campus all week! In order to prove that you are doing so, get onto www.bike2campus.com and fill out a sheet to show you have biked, and then, by proving it, you can earn some sweet rewards!
More, daily events are listed below:
Thursday, April 17th: Water Conservation Day. This event will be in Fainman Lounge from 2-5pm. It will mark the introduction of Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week, April 21st- 24th. Students will receive ideas on how they can conserve water, as well as learn of why it is so important. There will also be reusable water bottles being handed out for FREE! Be sure to stop on by and get an introduction to Earth Week/Bike2Campus Week! Students are encouraged to Bike2Campus! You will also be able to receive free prizes for doing so throughout the week!
Monday, April 21st: Alternative Transportation Day. This event will be from 2-5pm in the Wabash Lobby. It will include more information on Bike2Campus week and alternative transportation!
Tuesday, April 22nd: Rooftop Garden Planting Day. Students can help to start the rooftop garden on the 5th floor of Wabash from 2-5pm! We will be meeting up on the 5th floor by the workout facility. The weather (looking ahead) is supposed to be nice! Come join in on this and get some fresh air, get your hands dirty, and also receive some free goodies!
Wednesday, April 23rd: EWaste donations are welcomed all week, but this day will mark the actual event to dispose of any of your electronics! You will also be able to learn more about why this is beneficial to our environment! The event will be 2-3:30pm on the 14th floor of Wabash!
Thursday, April 24th: Rooftop Garden Planting Day from 2-5pm on the 5th floor of Wabash (meet by the workout facility)!