GW Brief: Green GW invites students into its eco-friendly townhouse

Members of Green GW opened their Scholars Village Townhouse to the public on Thursday to showcase environmentally friendly living at GW.

Junior Christina Katopodis and seniors Maggie Desmond, Alicia Green and Ivey Wohfeld have translated the ideals of Green GW into a practical living situation for their house that helps the environment and provides a model for other students who are interested in green living.

“People are interested in sustainability, but don’t know how to be sustainable,” said Desmond, who founded Green GW with Wohfeld last year.

She added, “A climate crisis is looming, it is important to learn the right behaviors now.”

Evidence of green living is apparent throughout the townhouse.

Desmond and her housemates use handmade fair trade products such as bags, clothing and purses in addition to utilizing drying racks for clothes, eco-friendly cleaning products, water-conserving showerheads and organic towels and sheets.

“I really like putting ideas into practice,” Desmond said.

In the house, there are signs to remind visitors that “brushing teeth with continuous water flow uses two gallons of water” and “washing your clothes on cold, you can save $35.”

The housemates said green living is about conscious living.

“Our daily tasks include turning off lights that we are not using, using only power strips and when we are not using them we turn them off, and bringing tote bags to supermarkets,” Wohfeld said.

The housemates said although they try to live an environmentally – friendly lifestyle, they sometimes run into difficulties being green.

“The hardest thing about living green is remembering to turn off your computer which means taking your away message down,” Green said.

Katopodis said showcasing their house will have an effect on GW students.

“Seeing examples of energy – efficient options will influence people to live more energy – efficiently,” she said.

Senior Kara Eusebio, who attended the open house, said environmentally friendly living is not out of reach for students.

“(They have) really neat ideas about how easy it is to live green,” she said. “It is easy to do on a college budget.”

Fixtures like the half-gallon toilet dam, which decreases the amount of water needed to flush a toilet, is one of those green ideas that drew the curiosity of visitors.

Junior Lauren Konopazza, a member of GreenGW who visited the open house, does all that she can to live more green.

“I unplug my cell phone charger when I am not charging my phone and encourage my friends to recycle,” she said.

Desmond said she and the housemates have more green projects in the works. The ladies plan to start a light bulb exchange program where regular light bulbs can be exchanged for energy efficient light bulbs.

She said, “We make better decisions about purchases, how to dispose of these purchases, how to waste them and change simple behaviors like turning off lights.”

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