As I awoke this morning, I groggily rolled out of bed, opened the blinds, and proceeded onto my normal morning routine. However, this morning I was much more conscious of the resources I was using to get ready because it was the start of No Impact week.
First, instead of using q-tips or Kleenex to remove my makeup I used a clean rag that had been hiding in my closet–and it worked just as well. For every product I used, whether it was face wash, moisturizer, or mascara, I used half of it, so I could use each product for twice as long. I knew I couldn’t realistically cut out all of these products from my life, but I knew I could cut back.
Before leaving my room, I unplugged all of my appliances. If I wasn’t using them, what was the use of them being plugged in?
At lunch, I did not have trouble finding meatless options. I made sure to only put on my plate what I knew I could eat so I wouldn’t have to waste food. I took only one napkin instead of my usual three and survived my meal without a messy mishap. As my friend grabbed for a handful of napkins I gave her a smug look. But then I thought of one of Colin Beavan’s quotes from No Impact Man: “I made the mistake of thinking that condemning other people’s misdeeds somehow made me virtuous” (6). Realizing I had been guilty of this same thing, I retracted my smug look. I had to continue changing my practices to become more sustainable before I could start telling someone to take only one napkin or preach about why they probably shouldn’t eat that steak.
Doing these few simple things made me question why I hadn’t been making sustainable decisions all along. Why did I wait so long be more sustainable? What was stopping me besides myself?
After this first day, I realize that the goals I have for this week should apply to the rest of my life.