Day 1: Why did I Wait SO Long to be Sustainable?

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.

Bea Lawson


  1. I like the attitude you bring to the whole idea of being more sustainable. You seem very upbeat where as I am not so sure of myself. Also the realization that you couldn’t realistically cut out all makeup but used only half of what you normally do shows that you are putting full effort into being more sustainable.
    Keep on keepin on

  2. I think that you’re goal for using half of your everyday products is great! I think I may adapt that into my own goals. Although, admittedly, girls have it much worse in terms of cosmetic products so it would probably be less of a change for me.

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