SEED: Oberlin's New Sustainability House

SEED: Oberlin's New Sustainability House

Janel Laban
Jun 23, 2008

Short showers and unplugged refrigerators? What a pleasure to wake yesterday to see our old college (Oberlin) still pushing buttons and making people think on the front page of the NYTimes. This time it's not for divestment or vegetarianism, however, the Obies of right now are embracing the Green Issue and have founded a new sustainability house or SEED, for Student Experiment in Ecological Design...

Taking a page out of the book of a few other colleges that have similar initiatives of their own, and learning from their green guru in residence, David Orr, who has been pioneering green studies at Oberlin since we were there in the '80's, this new house holds a fun new story that involves short showers, turning off lights, group studying in the living room and no television (among other things). The article is called,How Green Is the College? Time the Showers."

We particularly liked this quote:

"This is a generation that is watching the world come undone," said David Orr, a professor of environmental studies at Oberlin. Projects like the Oberlin house, he said, are "helping them understand how to stitch the world together again."

It's worth the read and soooooo nice that colleges are engaging with this issue at this level. Young people will always be the answer, when I comes to solutions involving shifting your comfort level and root outlook.

The super cool thing about this house is the technology behind it, some of which is not finished yet. They are installing a metering system that will record every ounce of energy used:

By next fall, the house's 24-hour energy-use monitoring system will be fully up and running. Every turn of the faucet, every switch of a light, will be recorded, room by room.

Since the secret of creating intelligent use is in bringing that use to consciousness, we think this one tech novelty alone will be extremely powerful and should have widespread uses in the commercial market.

(Photos: David Maxwell for the New York Times)

Tightly Related Links:

>> SEED House article in Oberlin Review
>> No Impact Man blog by Colin Beavan

Originally posted by Maxwell on AT:NY.

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