I started out this week positively, making sure not to make the same mistake Colin did by blowing my nose straight away. I made sure to unplug my phone charger, not use any lights, and only use cold water when getting ready. My breakfast was vegetarian, and I carried it to class in my fancy Tupperware from home. I felt pretty sure that I would be able to complete the week with few challenges. Oh, how naive was I.
My first problem started when I didn’t allow myself enough time to get lunch in Curtis. I therefore had to go for meal-to-go because I wouldn’t eat dinner until 8. Weighing my options, I chose a turkey sandwich and an apple, which I assumed would be low impact. Sadly, I had forgotten my decision to go vegetarian, and gobbled up the sandwich before I could remember. So not only did I create waste with the plastic wrapping from the sandwich, but I ate meat, which was the second strike against my goals for this week.
Other than the sandwich, I did relatively decent for a first day. I know I used more energy than I needed to today, especially with my laptop. One of the challenges I know I will face for the rest of the week is trying to find a balance between doing school work and not creating an impact. For example, I have to print close to 100 pages of articles for a Communication research project, yet I am supposed to be not making an impact. Hopefully I can get creative in finding a way to print these pages without making a huge impact. It was also amazing how many times I reached for a napkin or tissue without even realizing it, and then had to catch myself before using it. Our society is conditioned to use something for a very short-term, and then expect to be able to throw it away immediately.
One of my goals for this week was to share with my roommates and friends, and see if they will join in with me. I have been underwhelmed by the amount of support I have received from my roommates. One told me that she felt it was fine if she drove her SUV everywhere because she wasn’t an environmentalist, and then opened a bottle of water. Ouch! I also had an interesting conversation with my boyfriend about my change to a vegetarian diet for the week. He very adamantly told me that I had to eat meat because it was healthy for me, and that it really did not impact the environment. This week will definitely be a challenge to try to get my friends on the same page with me!
I had an ok first day, but here’s to a better and more sustainable tomorrow!