Day Two: The Giving Tree

After spending an evening in darkness, I have to admit that I was losing enthusiasm for No Impact Week. I had a lot of work to do, and I didn’t feel like leaving the room, so I just hunched over my computer in complete darkness. I missed the light even though I didn’t really need it. I did realize that the hall lights are always on, so I kept my door open for a while. I picked up dinner at Slayter with the cardboard box that probably can’t be recycled. I’m using it as a compost bin though, so that’s something. As I sat in almost darkness, eating my black bean burger, I decided to pick up my favorite childhood book. I read The Giving Tree from the dim light of the hall, and it was an oddly nice moment.

It’s also really great to be able to read a kid’s book and get even more out of it than you did when you were 5. It is also very relevant to this project. Obviously nature doesn’t have emotions, and a tree doesn’t care whether we swing from it’s branches, or collect it’s leaves, or take it’s apples. But we take and take, just like the boy. All that was left of that giving tree was a stump. The tree was happy, but not really. She wasn’t really a tree anymore. As I sat there reading it in the dark, I felt better about not having the lights on, but really sad about all of the amazing places and habitats we’re destroying so that we can have these things we don’t really need.

This morning, I had a fair amount of ho-hum time to just drink my coffee. I realized it was sort of better this way, because I’m usually rushing around and then checking websites to keep updated. Today I got to just wake up slowly with a really great cup of coffee. I got lunch today from the to-go place at Curtis, and as a result, there was some plastic wrapping that I recycled. I’ve stayed strong with no pop cans and candy wrappers. I did not stay as strong last night with TV. I had to watch Homeland, guys.. Please don’t judge me. It was the second to last episode and Brody is seeking asylum in Iran on an undercover mission to kill the terrorist Iranian leader so that the next leader in line will come to power, the leader who the CIA has turned! And man, it was a good episode. That’s it for the week, though. I promise.



  1. I definitely agree with you, sitting alone in a dark room lost its charm after day one. I’ve forced myself to relocate to the library to avoid falling asleep at my desk…

    It’s great to hear you’re taking advantage of your ho-hum time! Relaxing over a cup of coffee sounds so perfect right now. I’ll have to try that later this week! Also, The Giving Tree is such a classic, one of my childhood favorites. It’s crazy how those things come back to us later on in life and have such a different meaning.

  2. NOOO….I can’t believe I just read your post and found out all about this season of Homeland!!!! I have been recording it and haven’t watched a a single episode yet.
    On the positive, good job with ho-hum and no lights. But again, maybe you guys can find a place where lights are already on???

  3. That is very creative to use the Slayter box as a compost bin for your room. That was definitely one of my favorite books growing up. I’m impressed with your commitment to keep the lights off….that has been hard for me at night when I have work and am too lazy to walk to a quad. I too have indulged myself in watching tv, but I think you made up for it by enjoying Ho Hum time in the morning!

  4. Sitting in darkness has been weird for me too. I feel like if some one walked in my room right now, they would be really sketched out…. just me alone in a completely dark room on my laptop.

    It is indeed depressing knowing all of the ecosystems and nature we are destroying in the world for our shallow human wants and desires. This is probably the biggest motivator to me for trying to be eco-friendly in general, not just this week. It’s all about the baby steps trying to change our habits.

  5. I love reading children’s books and I second the lots of work and using the hallway light. It’s helpful because I tried the Library I just haven’t been able to do work outside my normal environment :/ No judgement on the Homeland. I’m probably gonna have to cave and watch football on my phone Thursday. . . It’s not like I can just watch it later. I only watch the fourth quarter generally to do work during the others. So don’t worry, you at least got some Ho Hum time in too!

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