Teach Us to be Green By Being a Good Example

One of Winthrop’s biggest goals seems to be teaching its students the importance of living the green lifestyle. And there is almost no way that saving resources and using less energy can be a bad thing. Most of the time Winthrop does a good job with this. Last year green cleaning products were freely given to any student who wanted them. And although the effectiveness of these products can be debated, the effort cannot.

Too bad Winthrop doesn’t take this same approach when it comes to water.

It seems that Winthrop does not listen to the message that it tells its students. Despite the constant reminding that conservation is needed to save the planet and classes which focus solely around exploring this very situation, Winthrop just cannot seem to understand how to save water.

Or maybe Winthrop doesn’t know that a drought is effecting South Carolina right now. But this is hard to believe considering that the team of the Rock Hill Herald and the Charlotte Observer have had the drought above the fold on the front page of the paper routinely over the past few weeks.

The following email was sent to everyone with a Winthrop email address:

Dear Campus Community:

Yes, it’s hot out there – and dry, too. (I’m hoping that just typing that will help make it rain!) In fact, if you’ve just moved here, you may not know that the City of Rock Hill has imposed water restrictions during this drought period. The obligation to conserve water applies to campus residents, as well as our off-campus residents. Like other institutional citizens, Winthrop already has worked out an authorized watering schedule for parts of our property that require minimal watering, involving use of timed sprinklers on a rotating basis. So while you may see some watering going on here on virtually any day of the week, please know that is the approved plan.
Winthrop community members can help during this situation in other ways, whether they reside on- or off-campus. Following are a few tips on how virtually anyone can help conserve water, especially during a municipal restriction period. Please do your part to help by making as many of these practices a part of your daily routine as possible:
. Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face. You’ll save between three and five gallons of water each minute your faucet is turned off.
. Individuals who shave with water running in the basin, probably use at least one gallon per minute, most of it wasted. A stoppered basin needs one-half gallon or so of water for adequate razor rinsing.
. Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Some people flush away tissues and other bits of trash in the toilet. Using a wastebasket will save all those gallons of water that otherwise go wastefully down the drain.
. Planning such things as showering and doing laundry for evening hours helps municipal providers manage peak demand.
. Limit the length of your shower to 5 minutes or less. Reducing showering time by 1 minute can save 1,000 gallons of water a year.
. A typical tub bath takes about 40 gallons of water. Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. Remember to plug the tub before turning on water; that initial burst of cold water will be warmed later by adding hot water.
. Do full loads when washing clothes and running dishwashers so that you use water most efficiently.
. Filling water bottles conserves water that otherwise might go down the drain when drinking from a fountain.
. Car-washing should be done only at commercial providers that recycle water.

As you can see, most of these steps require only minor adjustments individually, but collectively, the Winthrop community can make a big difference in water consumption in Rock Hill. Thanks in advance for your help.

Stay cool,
Walter Hardin

Maybe Winthrop has forgotten what it takes to conserve water since the 23rd of August.

The following is a list of things that Winthrop is doing that seem to go against the water conserving idea:

  • Run the fountain in front of Tillman Hall
  • Water the grass while it is raining
  • Water the street instead of the grass
  • Build a new fountain between Kinard and Bancroft Halls

It is this last one that that is the most troubling. It can be argued that the fountain in front of Tillman is too important of a Winthrop landmark to be turned off, that the sprinklers are on a timer that wasn’t changed, and that someone made a mistake and aimed the sprinklers incorrectly. But the building of a new fountain is not something that is needed with the conditions that the Rock Hill area is in right now.

Hopefully Winthrop will be smart enough to not run water through the new fountain until after the drought is over. But at this point, that seems to be wishful thinking.

Published in: on 27 October 2007 at 6:14 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’d forgotten all about that email. Thanks for bringing it up.

    It would make sense for Winthrop to follow this advice. And the fact that it makes sense is probably why they’re not doing it.

  2. Thankfully it’s gotten cold, which means maybe the fountains won’t be run for much longer.

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