Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Resource Conservation

Last week, The Signal published an article about power consumption by The College. This letter included an appeal to students to try to conserve electricity. Lori Winyard, Director of Energy and Central Utilities, and the Office of Residential and Community Development are working in conjunction to come up with a comprehensive plan to promote energy conservation.
I have a suggestion for Ms. Winyard. This semester, The College has introduced a program called PrintSense. This program allots a quota of pages which students may print from the TCNJ computer labs, and bills them for exceeding their allotment. I call my program PowerSense.
Under PowerSense, TCNJ would install a readable electric meter inside every dorm on campus, right next to the thermostat where students can easily see it. Each student would be allotted X kilowatt-hours for consumption over the course of a single semester. Students can read the meter to determine their consumption to date, and adjust use of computers and lights accordingly. In cases where students have a roommate, the allotted kilowatt-hour limit for the room would be doubled, the excess at the semester’s end being divided between the two roommates. Is this fair? Not at all. But TCNJ uses the same system to allot communal damage charges to students, so what the heck.
After the implementation of PowerSense, TCNJ should start looking at other programs to curb the out of control student consumption of resources. I next propose WaterSense. In some third world countries, a child will walk miles a day on unpaved roads and in bare feet to get his family’s drinking water. In the US, we use potable water to flush our toilets. This grievous waste of water needs to end. Under WaterSense, TCNJ students will be granted Y gallons of water for consumption per semester. An ID swipe, just as is installed at the entrance of every dorm, will be installed next to every sink, outside every shower and over each toilet. Before any TCNJ student wants to wash hands, clean off or flush, you simply swipe your ID so the TCNJ central servers know whose allotment to subtract the 1.6 gallons per flush from. Upperclassmen- shorten those showers, and freshman, let a few of you puke into the toilet before hitting the flush. Take turns with who swipes to get rid of it.
Perhaps a more drastic, although just as vital, program I hope to see Ms. Winyard and the Office of Residential and Community Development bring before the TCNJ Board of Trustees would be AirSense. With deforestation and industrialization contributing tons and tons of greenhouse gases to the Earth’s biosphere each year, it is simply unconscionable to think of how shamlessly TCNJ students breathe without thinking of the vast ecological damage they do with each exhale. Under AirSense, TCNJ students will report to Health Services to have their average CO2 output per breathe measured, which will be used to extrapolate how much ozone-depleting CO2 they’ll be expected to produce over the course of the semester. This will be compared to the average rate of CO2 production per unit body weight over the entire student body (separate average indices for male and female students), and each student’s bill will be charged or credited according to his production rate accordingly.
Maybe I’m overreacting. But after paying thousands of dollars to come here, I get kinda peeved that TCNJ only lets me print 600 pages per semester.

Martin Smith

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