At long last, No Impact Week is over. This was an educational experience, to say the least. I pride myself on being perhaps excessively practical, but this experience made me hyperaware of all the little lazy things I do – grabbing the saltines from the lunchroom, leaving my laptop plugged in even when it’s charged, leaving the mirror light in my room on even when I don’t need it, spacing out in the shower – and how much they can contribute to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I realized just how much trash I produce, even unintentionally, and how much I take for granted (!!) in my day-to-day life. I also had to make some tough decisions – is it worth to take up the lights situation with my roommate, or should I just let her do her? Is the wrapper from my organic almond-and-flax seed bar really going to cause more impact than a soggy iceberg lettuce sandwich from Sodexo? What if five minutes have gone by but I still can’t get the Dr. Bronner’s out of my hair? It’s been vexing and confusing at times.
But overall, I’ve been inspired by the whole experience. Even when you’re feeling antisocial and cynical about the world’s situation as a whole, there are little things you can do on your own time that help to decrease impact on the environment, even if you can’t take on the big stuff. I especially liked some of the stuff Colin Beavan said about volunteering in your community, which doesn’t seem to be a very popular thing to do these days. I’m looking forward to going home over winter break and helping to put my local community garden down for the year.
Other goals I’ll be keeping up with: unplugging my devices, trying out this mythical ‘produce’ section at Slayter that supposedly exists beyond some deeply troubled bananas, short, Dr. Bronner’s fueled showers, and definitely trash reduction.