First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY EARTH! What a perfect day to conclude our no impact week. I would definitely say that this has been a fun, yet challenging week. Let me lay down some tasty thoughts for your ear tongues:
1. Being a vegetarian for a week has ironically confirmed my reasons for not being a vegetarian. I realized that there are definitely some days that I do not eat meat, so the hardest part about not eating meat for a week was having to stay aware of the fact that I was not eating meat! I would love to continue to eat more vegetarian foods, but I don’t think that eating meat is bad as long as it is eaten sparingly and it would be an even bigger plus if it was local.
2. I am a terrible person who cannot take short showers to save my life. Saving water is important to me and I would only have the faucet running when using water directly, but my best shower time was 12 minutes. Boo. So I guess in that respect water usage was the most challenging aspect for me.
3. People throw away SO MUCH STUFF. I am guilty to sometimes walking something out to the dumpster and being glad that I will never have to deal with whatever it was again. However, this doesn’t mean that it will just disappear (I think people know this but are just to lazy, apathetic or uncaring to do anything about it). This week was good in that I was constantly aware of what I was throwing away, whether it was a Q-tip or a bottle I was recycling. I think that buying things with less waste will stick with me for a while. We should be able to get snacks and such from Slayter, but if we can bring our own thermoses to fill or containers to put stuff in, it would make such a difference. You guys would be so proud, we had a field hockey play day today and our coach got us Panera for lunch. Of course each of our meals was packaged in a cardboard box and when people were finishing this entire box was being thrown away. Being the conscientious environmental student I am, I immediately flattened all of the boxes and walked them up to Slayter to recycle them. It felt good.
4. Energy. Unplug your stuffs when your not using them or if they are not charging. Bam. It’s that simple.
5. Now for the poignant insightful part (maybe). I think I would be lying if I started to rant about how my perspective on consumption has changed because of this past week. Maybe it’s because my family is pretty environmentally conscientious, but I would say I have been aware of the things we have been doing this week for a while. What this week has done for me though, is made me actually follow up with some things I have become complacent about. It’s so easy to be in a rush and forget to unplug chargers or throw away your food in the dining hall instead of composting it, but knowing that this is related to our grade has invested me in becoming very aware of my personal impact (who woulda thunk). Honestly, I think that people just need to be more conscientious about what they do! They need to care. But of course this leads to the problems we have been discussing in class, how do you gain support for issues like this? How do you make people care? We have/are developing the technology to recycle, re-use, and develop safer products, but the most important thing in my mind is to have people just care about what they are doing. Of course this won’t solve the issue, but I think it’s a solid start.