Oberlin Blogs

Chinwe's Adventures in Eco-land

March 11, 2012

For many months now, I've had the idea of blogging about this very special place on Oberlin's campus called SEED House. From what I know about SEED (for Student Experiment in Ecological Design) House, it was an idea conceived by some former students who decided to create a space where they were able to live their lives in a 'completely green' fashion. So instead of trying their best to exist greenly alongside less mindful Oberlin students (do less mindful Oberlin students even exist?), they created an entire house full of eco-ness.

Disclaimer: I do not live in SEED House. However, my dear comrade/partner-in-crime is a SEED House resident; therefore, I spend a quite bit of my time here...aka I'm in SEED House RIGHT NOW.


This is not my wall or eco-friendly dim lighting.

My favorite parts of Eco-house:
1. my comrade's room (it smells nice and she has lots of pillows)
2. the big porch out front with miscellaneous chairs and whatnot

My least favorite parts of SEED House:
1. Eco-kitchen
2. Eco-bathroom

You wonder why I'm hating on Eco-kitchen and Eco-bathroom? Here's why:

Chinwe vs. Eco-kitchen
The first time I met Eco-kitchen, I was attempting to make some oatmeal for breakfast. I entered, looked around, and had a small heart attack. I really like clean things and Eco-kitchen is not clean. Eco-kitchen's sink is filled with dirty dishes and the counter and stove are covered in crumbs and pasta sauce. Eco-refrigerator has an assortment of aged co-op food and there's no Eco-microwave (which makes sense, but makes things a little difficult sometimes).

Chinwe vs. Eco-bathroom
Eco-bathroom and I have an even worse relationship than Eco-kitchen and I. Although there's a nice warm air vent on the wall and Eco-shower isn't bad at all, Eco-toilet and Eco-sink are the bane of my existence. In Eco-bathroom there's something special called the 'grey water system.' In the grey water system, the water that is used from Eco-sink drains into a bucket which sits underneath Eco-sink. When one pees in Eco-toilet, you do not flush. Only when one does "something other" than pee, you flush Eco-toilet and fill up the tank with the grey water from Eco-bucket. So clever, right? Right, except for all I can think about is all of the little grey germs I'm touching when I touch Eco-bucket or Eco-toilet. Ew ew ew.

As crazy as it makes me, I do my best to follow the rules of SEED House when I'm here and it really puts into perspective for me how we can each individually do a little more to live environmentally friendly. Eco-bathroom is a little extreme for me, but as far as recycling, composting, and being conscious of electricity use (etc.), it isn't hard to be educated (especially at Oberlin) about the environment, the human footprint, and what we can do to reduce its impact on the planet.

Also, can we just talk about how someone just thought up the grey water system? Wow, Oberlin. Wow.

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