Final Reflection

The end of No Impact Week came very suddenly for me. I realize that this does not mean that I have to stop all progress I was making to a smaller ecological footprint and revert back to my old wasteful ways, but I did enjoy doing this as a class activity. It was nice to get to bounce ideas off of one another, and have an excuse to your roommates about why we can’t leave the window open all day long, and why I am keeping a seemingly unpleasant container of used tissues and apple cores to bring to the dining hall compost. Now I feel that ignoring all of the changes that I made in my lifestyle this week would even more offensive to the environment and to my own conscience than it formally was. What’s the difference? I know now, I understand. I would be insulting my own support of sustainability were I to return to the comfortable fifteen minute shower and packaged foods.  No Impact Week allowed me to get in the habit of doing certain things, like turning off electronics and composting in my room. I definitely will continue the vast majority of habits that I was practicing during the week, as most of them were actually simple once I grew somewhat accustomed to them. I am going to try to avoid packaged foods as much as possible, and reduce the number of products I use overall (which, once I considered it, is wastefully high). This week made me discover that I am very much a victim (or perpetrator, depending on how you view it) of the consumerist world we live in. I have more than five bottles of lotion that were all party to the buy-one-get-one-free ploy to which I happily gave my money. From this discovery sprung my decision to buy no more lotion (or other products for that matter) until I had used up my rather high stock. No Impact Week reminded me that I shouldn’t buy unnecessary stuff, despite the supposedly fantastic deals I could get. I learned to decrease my energy and water usage, continue walking everywhere for transportation, and adapt my food choices to the most local and fresh. I am excited to see how far I can go beyond my improvements this week. Overall, I’d say the future in my being low-impact is very bright, and I feel changed in terms of my own lifestyle, therefore No Impact Week was a success in my eyes.

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