My old dorms friends are already shouting: we don’t have elevators! I’ll give you that, but you do have friends in new dorms who abuse the evil elevator–the hellevator!
Disclaimer: this is neither an article about nor endorsing the new TV show by the same name.
Recently, a student in my dorm posted fliers in our elevators citing why we should not use the energy-sapping luxury. In the time between the initial posting of information and the debriefing post–explaining that the finger-pointing posters were part of a social psychology experiment–other students in the dorm vandalized the posters with comments like, “No one cares.” Many took outrage because the facts used were, simply, not facts. According to ThyssenKrupp, a large producer of elevators, our elevator uses approximately 26,000 kilowatts per hour. That’s enough energy to do almost 6,000 loads of laundry or play Xbox for 42 years (Chabot Space & Science Center). One hour of our two elevators running… 42 years of gaming.
My building is 6 stories, and I allow that it is tiring to climb five flights of stairs multiple times a day (although it is healthy!). However, when people run into the elevator and I ask what floor, sometimes they say, “Two–don’t judge.” Considering you just ran into the elevator, I will indeed judge! Not using the elevator saves energy by the sheer fact that it is not running–the gears are not turning, the belts are not moving. So while the lights and AC remain on while the elevators are not in use, we can still make an impact by choosing the stairs.