Energy to heat 10 min shower per day is roughly 3,200 KJ, 160grams of wood burned.
Textile Environmental Cost
The average college student brings about 38.73kg (38,730g) of clothing/ textiles to college. According to Professor King's provided data, for every gram of clothing, 10 grams of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. This means that the average college student is responsible for 387,300g of greenhouse CO2.
To break down the specific sources of the CO2, we took the composition of jeans (87% cotton, 10% polyester, and 3% elastic) as the median composition of clothing. Cotton, while a sustainable resource, is harvested using cotton pickers, a diesel run machine. While diesel fuel takes the least amount of processing to be ready for consumer use, its combustion releases CO2 as well as harmful particulates. Particulates are harmful to humans and animals rather than solely the environment. Polyester is the product of fossil fuels. Processing fossil fuels always leads to waste carbon as well as excess CO2. Elastic products can come from sustainable rubber trees, but these are again harvested and processed by CO2 producing machinery.
This 10g CO2 per gram of clothing also includes the environmental cost of washing and drying these textiles. Detergent is produced using a combination of chemical and natural products so there is limited CO2 production here. However, the water heaters often burn petroleum, natural gas, and other fossil fuels for heat producing some CO2. Then, the engines that turn the wash basins in the washers and dryers use electricity, which can come from sustainable resources such as wind, water, and, in some cases, sun. However, these technologies are not as fully developed as they might be, so we are back to producing MORE CO2.
Lighting and Heating
Working under the assumption that:
- Each dorm room uses (on average) 4 incandescent light bulbs
- Each dorm rooms has each bulb on for approximately 8 hours each day
- Each light bulb is a 60 Watt bulb
Each dorm room expends 1.920 kWh of energy and produces 576 grams of CO2 on lighting.
Also, taking an average November day in Waterville and assuming:
- The average temperature is 36 degrees F
- Each dorm room is heated to 70 degrees F
- Dorm room air is all nitrogen
- Each dorm room is 200 sq. feet and 10ft high
- The energy is produced by burning wood (at the Colby steam plant)
Each dorm room expends 1391.8 kJ and produces 65.651 grams of CO2 per day.
IT ALL ADDS UP--The energy consumption of misc. dorm items
Think about it...
Average Dorm Mass (kg)
gCO2 : gProduct
Books, notebooks, pens, markers, etc...
Couch, shelves, storage, etc...
Bike, sports equipment, etc...
Pictures, white boards, posters
Sleeping bag, day pack, clothing
Snacks, food packaging