Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Welcome to Sigma Gamma!

The New York Times has a fun story about how college has changed with the presence at Oberlin College in Ohio and the practices that members of the Green House undertake to reduce their carbon footprint, It's like a fraternity but it isn't but close enough that I call it Sigma Gamma for "Super Green" Part of their pledge activities include taking the shortest shower, sharing one refrigerator, and studying in the same room to save on lights. I'm impressed by the amount of energy these kids have for being green, they are role models for us all. But as consciously as we can be about being green, we need to figure out structural mechanisms for us to be unconsciously green.

Green focuses on self-restraint and there is so much in our life that requires self restraint but unfortunately we as human being may have limited energy for self-restraint according to this study So we need to make sure things are inherently efficient. In the editorial on self restraint there is this quote:

Other activities that deplete willpower include resisting food or drink, suppressing emotional responses, restraining aggressive or sexual impulses, taking exams and trying to impress someone. Task persistence is also reduced when people are stressed or tired from exertion or lack of sleep.

and it seems to be true since in the article on Oberlin at the end one of the occupants lamented:

He confessed to another one. Sometimes, he said, “on a Friday after a long week of finals, I have to have a bath and a beer.”


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