The Abramson Family
I am a freshman at Yale University and my “family” when I am at school
includes my roommate and the four other girls that live in my suite. We
live in a large building with about 100 other freshman. Yale
is located in New Haven, Connecticut, which is relatively wet with the
traditional East Coast seasonal temperature changes. I spend almost
all of my time on campus or in close proximity, so I get around
primarily by foot or bike. To get anywhere further from campus, we
take advantage of the excellent bus and train system. I am originally from San Diego, so twice a year I fly round trip across the country to get home.
Challenge #5: It’s All Fun and Games.
Woohoo! I love it when I get “challenged” to have fun! My five favorite things to do for fun…all now a little bit greener:
Challenge #4: In the Dark?
Glowing Blue with Pride
“Geez, those are bright!” This is the usual response I get when people walk into our room. Yes, they are bright, but the CFLs in our single five-headed lamp light up the whole room. They also use less energy than incandescent bulbs and will last about 10 times as long! On move-in day last August, all six members of my college dorm suite “family” agreed to use CFLs in all our lamps with an ongoing challenge to use the same bulbs until we graduate: one bulb for four years. How long would a CFL last in your house?
Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?
Ah, Valentine’s Day. ‘Tis the season for cookies, candy, love—and creativity! Along with about 20 other people at my college, I made all my valentines this year out of recycled materials (materials I planned to recycled but decided re-use was more effective!). Not only was it a blast, but it yielded very personalized and creative results.
Challenge #2: Staying Warm for Winter.
Going to sleep last night, I knew I had forgotten something, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. My roommate had already gone to sleep as had the rest of my suite. I went through my normal routine: shower, brush teeth, set alarm (well, two alarms, since I tend to sleep through the first!). But I knew there was something I was forgetting to do. Although I was uneasy, once I climbed into bed, I was asleep within minutes. But at 3 a.m., I woke up suddenly to a cool breeze blowing swiftly across my face, and I instantly remembered what I had forgotten to do before I went to bed. (Can you guess what it was?)
Challenge #1: What’s your carbon footprint?
I think I have a pretty good understanding of basic science, especially as a prospective science major with several science classes under my belt. But when I calculated my carbon footprint, I didn’t really understand what “10.6 metric tons” really meant. To get a better idea of the scale, I think of a balloon with a diameter of 10 yards and filled with CO2. It would weigh about 1 metric ton. Therefore, my 10.6 metric tons means that I fill almost eleven balloons with just my carbon footprint. My roommate also fills about 11 balloons each year…and the other 100 freshmen in my building likely fill around 10 or 11 balloons each.