Conservation in Russia: natural resources, etc.

Conservation of natural resources is a foreign concept in Russia, and at times it is even frowned upon. It is simply not done. They have the most natural gas in the world, and there is also no shortage of coal or timber, and pretty much every metal in the periodic table is covered also. It has been my experience that it is a matter of national pride to consume Russian resources.

"We have so much! Use it, USE IT, yes!"

More than once, and not only in Moscow, I have been scolded for turning off the lights when I exit the room, or for not keeping the water running while washing dishes. Typically the lights at hostels are kept on all night, and when it is negative 25 degrees Celsius it is not uncommon for the buildings to be so heated that you need to open the windows. It is nearly impossible to be cold in Russia. Living in San Francisco is a much colder experience, and it's not a close race.

Water and electricity are plentiful here, and free to use, because most Russians do not pay for their own utilities. If they do, I was told last night by an American woman working in the financial sector who has lived in Moscow for 15 years and hasn't been back to America in more than 10 years, "that started, like, yesterday, so they don't really understand these things cost money."

Water is unlimited but faucet handles are not free, comrade! Please stop putting so much unnecessary wear and tear on my faucet! Please stop putting so much wear and tear on my light switch! This is Russia! We do not need your oil, nor your gas, nor your timber, nor your anything!