Dear Diary, No-Impact Week was a success. Love, Emily.

Most surprising was how difficult this week was.  The people on “No-Impact Man” made this seem relatively easy and even fun (correction: the GUY on “No-Impact Man” made it seem easy and fun, we all know his wife was in struggle city over there),  but I just do things so mindlessly that before I knew it, I’d be on my way out of the bathroom with a paper towel to dry my hands with again! It took a lot of concentration to avoid slip-ups this week. Save your mindless thinking for the showers, folks.

Perspective? Definitely changed. I used to think that I, just one person, don’t really create that much waste! This way of thinking changed when I sat down to record my waste on Tuesday….. (“These boxes are awfully tiny…..oh…wait…..”) My waste production decreased throughout the week, however! (“Oh my gosh, these boxes are so big!”)

I actually think it would have been better to start with all of the goals at once instead of adding one each day. Adding one each day meant that I got to continue some of my environmentally unfriendly habits while changing others. As much as taking shorter showers helps, it’s pointless if you’re lights are on in the room during that time.

The easiest goal was water consumption… taking six minute showers makes me feel accomplished for some reason. I think I will continue this habit, allowing myself a few exceptions from time to time for instances such as coming back in from a long, cold, winter day outside (3 hours of sledding=1 extra minute in shower….gotta have a system here). The hardest goal was food. It’s easy to set “healthy” eating goals here, but not necessarily “local” eating goals.

Anyway, this was a really unique experience! I kind of enjoyed it. My consumption in almost all areas also decreased significantly throughout the week. I bet if more people tried this, we could produce a generation of environmental-friendly students! ENVS 101: Changing habits, changing lives. (At least that’s what I like to think.)

Emily Dean


  1. Emily Dean, you make an AWESOME point when you say ,”as much as taking shorter showers helps, it’s pointless if your lights are on in the room during that time.” Genius. I agree that if you lower your impact in one area, you need to lower your impact in other areas as well for any difference to be made, and it’s really hard focusing on several different days worth of goals and keeping up with all of them when you have new goals every day to add to your list. Oh. And changing habits totally changes lives. Take The Biggest Loser, for example…they changed their habits and in turn changed their lives. They look awesome and I’m sure they feel even awesome-ER. Win.

  2. I completely agree with your statement about not realizing how much waste you create. I feel the same way. I never realized how many little things I threw away, but it all adds up…really quickly! It’s hard to think what it must have been like for the No-Impact-Man family. It certainly would take a lot more effort to be that environmentally friendly.

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