Students at Western Take a Stance

Earth Week encourages reducing water usage

Ellen Cromack / Special to Top

For Earth Week, a few students started a project to raise awareness about how much water individuals use, and how they can reduce their water usage.  This project has been going on all semester. The project was for Professor Brooke Moran’s ROE Intro to Sustainability Class. The purpose of this project was to open the eyes of her students on how people can infuse sustainability habits into their daily lives at Western. The students behind the project are Ariel Fitch, Ellen Cromack, and Megan Yingling. They chose to work on this topic because they realized that there is more that could be done to reduce individual water usage, but the students at Western might not have the knowledge on how to reduce their water usage. So, they decided to provide an educational tool to inform and encourage Western students to change their daily use of water.

The first educational tool was to raise awareness in the residence halls on campus. The goal was to educate current residents on how to conserve water on a day to day basis, and talk about how to fix shower heads that might be broken. There are two residential apartments, Pinnacles and Chipeta, competing against each other to see who can reduce their water usage the most. This competition is happening during the month of Apr. The winner of the competition will receive a pizza party during finals week. We hope that this competition will enlighten and educate the students on campus about water conservation.

The second educational tool was to create two informative posters and a visual aid to hang in the University Center. This poster and the visual aid will be up at the University Center during Earth Week, Apr. 18-23. The poster informs the students about how plastic water bottles have a negative impact on the environment, the impact of water overuse, and how the students can reduce their water waste. The visual aid represents the amount of water used during a shower. Overall, this set up in the University Center will inform and encourage the student body about what they can do to help reduce their water waste.

The lack of water awareness on campus is daunting because students are not aware of how their usage of water affects the environment. There are a multitude of options that the students can do to help improve the environment, but they don’t engage in them because of the overall lack of knowledge. Gunnison, as a whole, is a very eco-friendly population. However, Gunnison accommodates Western students who come from different and diverse backgrounds that may not embody the same views on water. The idea behind this project is to make Western students aware of how much water they use on a daily basis and how they can reduce their water use.

This project has definitely given the creators an insight on their own personal water use. The creators of the project hope that this project will shed some light on how Western students can make a difference in their water usage.