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I’m A Happy Camper

This past week has been very eye opening in showing me how I really don’t need to use as much as I do. It was also a lot of fun doing it with friends, making sure we “shared flushes,” or reminded each other to take the stairs, or asking, “can this be recycled?” or, “can this be composted?” I think being able to do it with a group of people we know pretty well made it more worthwhile and fun. This week also showed that I can always continue to improve my routine for creating less of an impact on the world, and there is no stopping point.

There were definitely both positives and negatives of No Impact Week. Some positives, for example, were things that I changed in my routine that I found I really liked, and have decided to keep as part of my daily routine. Some things I changed were taking shorter showers, unplugging things that do not need to be plugged in at the moment, stop going to Slayter for the week (to take advantage of my 14 meals a week), only walking or biking to my destinations, and limiting my amount of packaged goods to lower my consumption of waste.  These were all good changes for the week that changed my routine for the better.

Again, there were some negatives to mainly the structure of No Impact Week. I think No Impact Week would have been more effective for me, personally, if I had one or two goals from each category to work on the entire week rather than adding them on day by day. During the week, I felt that I mainly focused on one day’s goals rather than focusing on all that accumulated throughout the week. Adding on goals definitely worked in No Impact Man, but that was over the course of the year and the family had a lot of time to adjust to whatever new and upcoming goals they had. We, on the other hand, had one day at a time.

Some things have also been super easy as well as super difficult. Some habits were easier to change than others. I especially had to continuously catch myself with waste. It helped not going to Slayter, but there are snacks in my room and in the rooms of generous friends who ask if I’d like a bit of edible goods. Food was also another hard topic. Because of my meal plan and not wanting to spend money elsewhere, I have no clue where anything (milk being the one exception) comes from. Nothing is labeled “local” or “all natural” (which we hardly know what that even means) or “organic.” It was a difficult topic to set and maintain goals for myself. Other than waste and food, most areas were pretty easy to accustom myself to new habits. Like taking shorter showers, recycling more, composting as much as I can, using less products in general, and walking or biking to my destinations (I don’t really use a car anyways).

Because of No Impact Week, I learned a lot about the little things I can do that help in small ways to create less of an impact and in turn, less of an impact upon me. It was a great week overall, and I hope to continue many of the changed habits. IT’S BEEN NEAT!

Sarah Post

3 Comments

  1. I agree that food was really hard. It is just really difficult to determine where everything in the dining hall comes from! I am excited to have an apartment senior year and have more control over what I am consuming. Oh, and I guess this summer I can do that too! I agree that it was fun doing this week with friends. I definitely had to ask me more eco-savvy friends for help sometimes, including you, and it was great to have that help! And it was cool to see some of my friends who were not participating in this week pick up on things that I was doing and join in.

  2. I completely agree with you that this whole experience was very eye opening about the small things that we can do to make a difference. Just being made aware of the impact we can have with things we don’t even notice made me see how little changes can lower that impact significantly. Another thing that I agreed with in your post was about how much easier it was to do with others encouraging and reminding you about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. I got friends that weren’t even in our class involved in and yelling at me that it’s no impact week when I would forget to recycle or want to take a long shower. It helps having others encouraging the better behavior.

  3. I think that Sarah and I have very similar outlooks on No Impact Week. I think that the fact that we were working in a group setting made staying on track relatively easy and in many ways fun which makes me nervous for when I’m home. and not everyone feels the same way about conserving as I do. I think its great the affect one week can have on your mindset. I know that before I was trying to compost every day but if I forgot It didn’t really phase me. After this week I can’t imagine not composting and I am that annoying person that will yell at you if I see you putting your plate on one of the carts with vegetables still on it. I think that saying this week was eye opening is a very accurate statement. I think that this week was really effective in putting our consumption and impact in perspective.

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