This past week was fall break at Albright College; this resulted in the house being relatively empty from the dates of 10/9/14-10/14/14. This of course yielded relatively low power, water and waste output. This past week we figured out that all the heat and water heater in the house are powered by gas. This necessitates monitoring of gas usage in addition monitoring water, power, waste and compost. We will begin monitoring gas usage in the month of November, partly because it will be the beginning of a new month and partly because this is when we are expecting us to begin using the heat. It has been a relatively warm fall, this weather has resulted in us not needing to use the heat as of yet, this has resulted in lesser gas levels as opposed to those that will be used when the heater is turned on. We will use the month of November as a baseline value for comparison to analyze how much gas usage is contributed to heating the house. This combined with water usage will also give us an idea of the impact of heated showers and heated laundry will have on resource usage.
Water was the second highest used resource within the month of September amounting to approximately 4 gallons of water usage per day per person or 41 gallons per day. This is a result of the longer duration of individual showers. Taking short showers to minimize water usage isn’t necessarily something that one thinks about living in America in modern times. It is extremely hard to acquire a sustainable mindset pertaining to certain subjects. Especially when you have to wake up early on a cold morning and all you want is a nice long, hot shower. This is then multiplied the fact that there are 5 people living in this house who all need to shower almost on a daily basis. This has to be remedied by obtaining the proper mindset of awareness when it comes to water usage, we must take fewer, shorter showers. We can only achieve this by consciously making the decision to do so to decrease water usage per person within the house. The same principles apply to laundry. The washer and dryer combination that we have within the house is not efficient in terms of water usage. This is again exacerbated by the fact that we have 5 people doing multiple loads perhaps more than once a month. This situation can be remedied by focusing on combining loads between people and doing relatively smaller loads within the sink. One problem that proves to be particularly tricky is the water usage that is caused by flushing the inefficient toilets. Not much can be done to help this besides getting newer and more efficient commodes which puts us in a rough spot. Overall, the trend within water usage is a negative trend decreasing as time goes on. This may be a result of the housemates consciously being aware and making decisions that will decrease water usage. I know I have been taking relatively shorter showers since the school year has started to help the purpose.

Water Consumption Chart 1

A chart displaying the various contributions of water usage from possible outlets

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