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Lewis Hall decreases water use

| Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lewis Hall environmental commissioners Caitlin Foster and Melissa Vondriska placed timers to track the amount water use in each of the dorm’s showers on Monday, marking the beginning of a water conservation competition between each section of the dorm.

“I am really concerned with water conservation and I wanted to spread this awareness around the dorm and thought this was a good, fun way,” Vondriska said.

The commissioners installed an hourglass timer in every shower, Foster said. The timers measure five-minute intervals, which encourages residents to finish their showers before the hourglass runs out.

They turned the use of the timers into a competition between the sections to increase incentive for water conservation, Vondriska said.

“We’re asking the girls to keep track of how many showers under five minutes they take and record them on sheets outside the bathrooms,” she said.

At the end of the three-week competition, Vondriska said the section with the most five-minute showers would win a prize.

“We don’t have a way to monitor actual water saved, but we would like people to be aware of how long their showers are and cut down on the water they use,” Vondriska said.

Foster said Lewis’ Rector, Linda Cirillo, supported the commissioners’ idea and helped them order the timers.

Lewis residents also seemed enthusiastic about the installation of the timers and the beginning of the competition, Foster said.

“Generally, we’ve had a positive response,” she said. “The residents that we’ve talked to have been eager to see how long they actually take in the shower. Some have said this is a good way not just to save water, but to save time in general.”

The competition ends April 8, but Vondriska said they plan to keep the timers in the showers after the competition.

Foster said the shower timer competition is important because Lewis residents will learn about water conservation.

“Most people don’t know how long the showers that they take are and this is a good way just to get people thinking about it,” she said. “Educating people is the first step in correcting environmentally unfriendly behaviors.”