LILC Has a High Impact on Life at Chewonki
Recently at Chewonki, students interested in living more sustainable lifestyles have formed a club open to anyone who wants to join, called the Low Impact Living Club, or “LILC”. It all started when students took an interest in the fact that a toilet wastes about 2 to 5 gallons of water per flush. Considering that the average person uses a flushing toilet four times per day, this is a huge amount of water wasted! Students created a sign-up sheet in the semester journal so that others could take the pledge to only use the composting toilets on campus in order to save water. The composting toilets compost waste without using water, and there are three composting toilets on campus that are regularly available for student, faculty, and staff use. Students alone saved approximately 1,891-2,380 gallons of water within the first two weeks of switching to composting toilets.
However, the group has recently gone much further in this quest toward having a lower impact. In weekly student-led LILC meetings, students have been discussing ways they can further reduce their use of resources– including taking shorter showers, buying clothing from thrift stores, turning off lights that aren’t being used, and eating locally grown or raised food whenever possible. In the most recent meeting, students made signs to hang up around campus to encourage using composting toilets, taking shorter showers, and turning off lights. They also made jars for compost in buildings where there used to not be easily accessible compost bins. The group is even planning to do a trip to pick up trash in the near future.
This first generation of LILC is optimistic about the future for other low-impact living clubs. There is less than a month left in the semester, and students are now encouraging each other to take back these ideas to be continued at their home schools. There is also a hope that future semesters will carry on the freshly started club as a part of their community. The Low Impact Living Club has had a huge impact on Semester 50 so far, and if continued at Chewonki and schools around the country, could have an effect on the world!
-Shannon, Housatonic Valley Regional High School, CT