Improving, but still adjusting…

Today moved much more smoothly than yesterday, thankfully, however I found myself thinking about energy in particular. I’ve been much smarter about my energy use this week and feel good habits starting to take root, particularly with using electricity during the day when there’s more than enough natural light. One thing that I did last night that I felt was a better option than plugging my lamp in was use a booklight to do my reading. I have a small, battery-powered one that clips onto the book and gave me more than enough light to struggle through fifty pages of Tess of the d”Urbervilles. While I was doing these things to save energy though, I was bothered by habits I see around me, particularly in the dorms.

I understand that some people like a well-lit room, I do, but what I found myself becoming angry about was the blatant ignorance towards the effects of doing completely unnecessary things like leaving the lights on all day while in class. Like many people have been mentioning, it obviously does no good to shame anyone…quiet disapproval though is a habit I don’t think I can rid myself of in the near future though. Through this frustration, part of me is coming to better understand how deeply we are creatures of comfort and habit. It’s not easy to deny ourselves things that we have become accustomed to and energy is one of the things that people have just come to expect. I guess it isn’t so much this expectation of reliable energy that bothers me but the wanton use, the blatant disregard for anything other than oneself when turning on all the lights in one’s room or in a room in Talbot or Slayter that has an entire wall of windows. I don’t know…I think that, from this horribly disorganized post, I’m trying to say that I feel myself raising more concerns about things happening around me as a result of being self-conscious about what I’m doing. I think that I may have unexpectedly gained a goal: keep self-aware about bad habits around you and try to identify them in yourself for the sake of correcting them.

Ryan Mitchell


  1. I know what you mean! Before I moved into my new place, the landlord was showing me all the cool things the house has, one of which is lights that you program to come on at a certain time. She was telling me she programs these 2 sets of lights to come on between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., and how great it is that they’re already on by the time i get home! I bite my lip to keep my face from contorting in horror that she was using 5 hours of energy in 4 different light bulbs to have a well lit 10 second walk to the door per day.

    But i just have to remind myself that people often don’t know that they’re doing anything unsustainable, and that rather than thing badly of them I can kindly and compassionately educate them, primarily by being the example,

  2. I have also found that so far the thing I have noticed most from this project is how others heavily rely on energy use. Walking past multiple rooms in Talbot with all the lights on as one person sits inside each room also makes me feel frustrated. Those three people could instead share one room eliminating the need to turn on multiple sets of lights.

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