I cannot believe I got through this week so smoothly. The sacrifices of consumption that were made through this week have been phenominal! So I would like to congratulate all my friends from ENVS 101 on a successful completion of this week!
Fridays are hard. The weather wasn’t kind today too. I woke up early today. I decided to take a quick shower and head down to breakfast ( first time this month). There was no hot water. The cold shower was 3 minutes of hell for me but I survived.
For breakfast I ate fruit salad and whole milk.
After my 4 classes, I had a couple of meetings. So it was me, trudging through the snow from one end of the campus to another all day. I deserved a cup of coffee to lighten up my mind. So I used my re-usable cup for coffee!
No impact week is over now. Things might come back to normal now. Consumptions will increase. But..
I feel guilty. I was so happy living the no impact way. Knowing that my reliance upon certain things can be limited was a great feeling. I don’t want to go back to being my irresponsible self anymore. I’d rather live in a ‘minimal-impact state’ if not a no impact state, but I definitely can do without being a reckless consumer. I want to be that person that needs one planet to satisfy his needs, rather than 5 or 6. We have only one.
I cannot believe today is the last day of the no impact week! My day began with one playing of Wonderwall, which I felt was a major achievement given what I started with. I think in the future, if I take a shower everyday between one or two repeats of Wonderwall, I would be able to save 4 minutes of shower time. Not only can I get up 4 minutes late for my 8:30 class, but also save a lot of water through keeping doing this for a year. Although I might cheat on taking one or two longer shower, at least I tried and I know I can take a shorter shower. Beyond cutting down shower time, I think this project changed the way I approach to make a difference on environmental issue. Stop complaining or feeling guilty, just do it! Just set a few goals and start challenging myself. Doing no impact week allows me to influence my friends as well as they can see what I achieve. Action speaks louder than words! But I have to give credit to this blog. By reading the posts of my peers, I felt inspired by their actions and was more determined to commit to the project to the end of the week and beyond.
So It had been a long week and I hit to snooze button a few too many times. I guess this could be looked at as a positive because I skipped breakfast. I was also in a rush trying to get to class so I think that I took my shortest shower of the week. So who says that sleeping in for an extra few minutes in the morning is bad or lazy. So I didn’t eat till lunch and only at the cheese pizza. It was turning out to be my best say so far.
I guess it was good that I had little impact in the morning because when I was finished with class I hopped in the car and drove to the airport. The I got on the plane and flew to Nashville. So maybe I did use a lot of energy. But even if I had decided not to get on the flight, it still would have flown to its destination using the same amount of gas.
I knew that this was going to be a very hard week but I did not realize how much I had to think about my daily routine. Since I have been in college I had become so comfortable with my daily routine that I did not even think about what I ate, what it came in, or where it came from. This week has forced me to ask the questions that I not only didn’t think about, but also didn’t want to think about. I had to realize how much stuff I throw away in a given take. we take advantage of the fact that when we throw something away, it just disappears. Well it disappears from our immediate lives anyway. It actuality, It has to go somewhere. Most of the time it ends up going to a landfill. Just think about all the time and money that went in to creating the package on your snack that you look at for all of 30 seconds just to throw it in the trash. We constantly consume more than we need just because we have been conditioned to want more.
This week has taught me that it is possible to cut out some much of the things we waste and still make it thought the day. While it is impossible to be perfect, we can greatly reduce the amount of unnecessary stuff that we consume everyday. While I may not continue to take cold showers under thirty seconds, I can continue to do the easy things like bringing a mug to get coffee and unplugging electronics when not in use. If everyone can cut back just a little and influence just a few more to do the same, this would would be a much different place.
Today was the last day of No Impact Week and it was a busy one at that! Prelims went well this morning, other than the fact that I was swimming under bright lights and eating my granola bars. Not very eco-friendly… Lunch today was in one of Miami University’s dining halls. The food was pretty good, but I could tell that it wasn’t locally grown or even remotely organic. In between prelims and finals it was pretty easy to be no impact since we just slept the whole time. For dinner we had Chipotle, which was good, but definitely high impact. However, I did not use any paper products and also spent a limited time on my laptop (I only used it to type this).
I’d make this post longer, but I have a pretty big day tomorrow. Overall today I certainly made an impact. I got a best time and scored in the A finals. To reward myself I took a short, cold shower. One more day of the meet to go!
As I sit here letting myself indulge in packaged food, I can’t help feeling a heavy twinge of guilt. More of a flinch, really. I sense that some of my goals might start sticking, which feels pretty great. I’m not sure how long the vegetarian thing is gonna last.. I decimated a Dragon Village General Tso’s combo dish tonight and it felt too good to deny. Maybe I’ll just stick with cutting back on meal size. Definitely more doable.
Our discussion in class today got me thinking quite a bit, especially about the state of our civilization and its fixation on living lives that are created by other people, especially regarding our spending habits. We’ve let other people determine when things will need to be replaced because they’ve also told us that we need to care about what other people think of. What’s come from this, other than a pervasive sense of paranoia about our worth in society based on our comparison to others? When our self-worth is based on how much stuff we have, where does the environment come in?
I’m not sure where that all came from, but I really think it’s great that we’ve all been able to get so much out of this project and that we can let our experiences question some of the things we may not have even considered about our lives.
NI Week: Success.
As my final remark, I’d like to remind everyone that Jimmy Buffett has a new album out, Songs From St. Somewhere. It has some really solid tracks like “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Boat”, and “Einstein Was a Surfer” “Too Drunk To Karaoke (Feat. Jimmy Buffett)”.
Today was the last day of our No Impact week and I still do not quite have the handle of it. I did manage to mostly meet my goals, but I think if I ever do this project again, I could definitely set some harder and more specific goals. For example, I think I could shorten my shower further and produce even less trash.
Today I decided to curl my hair which was a pointless waste of both time and energy since my hair was completely flat again an hour later! I also managed to take a two minute and 50 second shower, which was pretty good! I also produced less trash today because I ate in the dining halls more and I remembered my reusable cup for coffee! All in all, I would say today was my most successful day– which is a great way to end this week!
In hindsight, I am sure I will have learned a lot from this project. I can see myself thirty years from now thinking back on this week and what I learned. I think it was a really eye-opening experience and I hope everyone learned as much from it as I did!
Well well well…looks like we’ve done it. Some of us with more pain than others, but we made it through in one piece. When I look back on my No Impact experience, I find myself wondering how it would have been different if I were trying this at home instead of at school. I think that I actually would have an easier time at home. First of all, I can actually control the amount of time lights are on. Second, I have no obligation to leave the house so no need to shower! I’d be able to use candles and the fireplace to light the room, and finally, I’d have endless entertainment from my dogs.
The things I struggled with the most this week were resisting temptations. I was so tempted to drive today and yesterday because I had to make some trips into Granville and it was snowy and rainy. Despite this temptation and easy access to a vehicle, my car has not left the parking spot I left it in on Sunday night when I got back from break. Nice pat on the back there, Marg. Ugh today at Dinner I had such an urge to eat a cheeseburger, but I just thought to myself: wow cows are so cute, don’t do that. and I didn’t.
I had the trouble earlier in the week about whether to go to a huge concert or not. I went, despite my pledge to use less electricity. I justified this by telling myself that the concert was going to happen anyway, so there’s no harm in me going. However, I was still a little guilty. I wish I hadn’t felt guilty because I was in the same room as friggen John Mayer, one of the greatest musicians of our time, but I was. You want to know why? Because all of you were so dedicated to this project and I was so impressed by how much you threw yourselves into the no impact lifestyle while I drove to Columbus to go to a huge concert with a ton, and I mean a ton, of unnecessary lighting displays. I feel almost like I let myself down, but more that I let all of you down. I find that John Mayer was worth it, but the concert experience was not. If I were given the choice again, I would not go.
Overall, I’m so glad we did this project. I was able to encourage some of my other friends to consume less and have a lesser impact. I also really felt a sense of accomplishment about myself, because I managed to get a normally 5 minute shower down to just under 2 minutes. I think I’m going to start living a better, more friendly, lifestyle after completing this project.
I hope you all had similar rewarding experiences or revelations!
I hope you all have had time to sit and reflect on this project, particularly after class today. There seems to be a never-ending chain of bigger and bigger questions running through my head. I never thought that this project could force me to start thinking about things that I didn’t ever think could be connected, for example the idea of community that we talked about today. I didn’t open Colin’s book and expect to question societal values and myself as a contributor to the constant cycle of waste. But I did, and ultimately the project lead to the big questions as it came to a close as well.
We all went through our own personal struggles this week, but Colin’s purpose is so much larger than just one person, or one class, skimping on meals and freezing in the shower. I think we all went through the same transformation as Colin did (maybe to a lesser extent, but enough to understand and begin to ask the tough questions). Let’s be real, I think when everyone started, there was the “Screw this, I want pizza” moment too. To me, the most important thing that we should take from this week is how we will walk away from this project.
We could all go back to the exact same lifestyle we were living a week ago and forget about the big questions Colin asks because we’re all too busy to really spend a few minutes and ask ourselves the hard stuff. But I know I won’t be able to just fall back into that old groove, and I hope a lot of you feel the same.
Here I am, sitting in my room just surrounded by stuff. I have so many things, I look at my desk and see mounds of random plastic things. Ask me if these things makes me happy. (They don’t.) So here is my new goal: finding the real happiness. When Colin wrote about that I said to myself, I want that. Ha classic, I know. But it was a real, genuine desire to live simply and find happiness in it.
So, I’ll leave you guys with that. Congratulations on surviving No Impact Week! Have a great weekend!
The last day was pretty much like the others for me. I didn’t really have any big relapses and the only thing I really struggled with was my diet. Taking meat out of my diet will be a slower and longer process but I am looking to slowly reduce my intake.
This week most importantly was really eye opening to me. I think its fair to say no one from the class will continue to live the life they had this week. But I also think it is fair to say that a lot of people saw small things that they can change that if everyone did would really make a difference. Unplugging my appliances and reading instead of just watching T.V. are things that I will easily continue to do beyond the scope of this project. I think almost everyone out there has something that they could change at little convenience to them they are just not aware of it yet.
I have heard the argument several times that one person can’t change the world. But why expect the world to change if you can’t yourself. Using what you need set’s a good example and if everyone selflessly did it the world would truly change for the better. Big movements are supported by small efforts and I think that is something that everyone participating in this project can take away from it.
Today was probably my most successful no impact day so far. I woke up and had a bowl of Crunch berries in my room, instead of my morning coffee at curtis. After my classes I went to Curtis again and had a grilled cheese or two. But here is the best part. After lunch I went back to my room and slept for 5 hours. No lights on, no electronic devices charging, nothing. It was glorious. And the best part of all of this is when I look out the window there is snow for days on the ground and it is still snowing. So that is super sweet. Well I have to go to work in a few short minutes and before I do I am going to watch some Adventure Time.
Week Recap : No trash. Minute long showers. No meat. I think I accomplished all of my goals so I am pretty stoked on that.