As I sit here, typing on my low-light, unplugged computer, I am happy to report that I am not using any electricity. There is relatively enough natural light in my room, but I could always go outside if I need to. It turns out that energy usage is easy to avoid, but hard to measure.
I have dedicated myself to using only one plug-in appliance, if you consider a phone charger an appliance that is, and it isn’t going too horribly. I’ve been able to escape the need for a desk lamp, a hairdryer, a curling iron, a phone charger, and pretty much everything else I could possibly need. My phone can charge through my computer, so my two main ways of communication are still in tact (thank god). I have taken to putting my computer to sleep when I’m away for a short amount of time and powering it off when I am away for a long period of time. The extra effort of turning it off stops me from using it to procrastinate or pass useless time because of the one minute it takes to start up. I also realize that I leave my computer on when I go to sleep which makes no sense because I’m not using it. I successfully cut out about 8 hours of charging time with this maneuver and I’m pretty happy about it.
As for no waste goes, my goal has been not to use more than 3 pieces of packaging a day. Due to dorm life, this has limited the amount of snacks I can eat during the day. I can’t say I’m that mad about it. Staying away from snacking has forced me to be a hunter-gatherer in Huffman by stealing fruit to eat later in the night after I have expended my 3 pieces of packaging goal. It is turning out to be a good thing, not eating processed foods and going crazy for fruits and veggies. Hence the no waste/no waist joke.
Today I stupidly used one of my 3 pieces of packaging on gum. I was so angry about this. I wonder what the No Impact Man himself would have to say to me. So for the rest of the week I will be switching to mints. This presents another problem though because tic-tac containers are a level 5 material and Altoids have a recycling number, but without a label. Is it more worth it to recycle the gum wrapper and waste one of my 3 packaged pieces on gum, or buy the pack of mints, but then have to deal with the container? I’ve found myself asking a lot of questions this week, in sort of a “less of two evils” way. That, along with the trash sort, has made me realize how many products use unrecyclable materials…which makes the “No Waste Family” option look pretty good right now.