Overall, this no impact week has proved to be much harder than I had anticipated. I have always tried to be environmentally possible, but this week has made me realize how much more I can be doing to cut down on my waste, packaging, energy consumption, water use, etc.
For me, the easiest thing was limiting my water consumption. At first, I thought that it was going to be awful taking 6 minute showers and I definitely did struggle with this at first. I enjoy taking longer showers as a time to rejuvenate and relax, but I realized that I really don’t need to take such long showers. I am definitely going to keep this habit up. In addition to limiting my water use, I found that cutting back on my energy consumption turned out to be easier than anticipated. In the beginning, I had to constantly remind myself to unplug my chargers when they weren’t in use, turn off my lights when I left my room, only charge my computer when it was absolutely necessary, and not to use my hair straightener. I think that I will definitely stick to first three goals as they have become more habitual more than anything. However, as far as using my hair straightener, I don’t think that I can completely cut out my use of it, but I can definitely reduce my use of it. This is not only good for my hair, but also good for the environment.
Overall, waste has been the biggest issue for me and I’m sure that it will continue to be a problem for me in the future. Obviously this week was a bit harder to cut back on my waste seeing that it was my birthday and I was receiving more packages and cards than normal, but I know that no matter what, I will always struggle with my waste. I am on the go a lot trying to juggle everything and it is so easy to just grab a granola bar or carry out something. Therefore, I am going to try to be more on top of things and plan out my days and my meals, so I am cutting back on my waste and not using as much food packaging. Granted this will be more work and one more thing to handle in my busy schedule, but I think it will turn into a habit just like cutting back on my energy and water consumption. Even though a majority of my waste stems from food packaging and food related products, I also struggle with the waste I create from paper, plastic packaging, etc. As a result, I am going to look into more reusable and recyclable products so that my products will last longer and can be recycled once I have gotten the most uses out of them.
All in all, I really liked the structure that we used throughout no impact week for our class. I thought that the step by step process was effective and was very helpful in helping us meet our specific goals. I think that if we had just been thrown into it right away, we would have been overwhelmed and would have not been able to meet our goals as easily as they should have been met. In breaking up the week, this allowed us to draw more attention to what we needed to focus on for that day while adding onto what we had done the previous day. To me, this definitely allowed me to remember my goals and turn them into habits.