Anxiety on Earth Day (NI Day 2)

So far, so good. I have been feeling great about the changes I have made to my daily routines, and I have constantly found myself being conscientious about what  I can do to make an impact (or lack thereof) this week.

One issue, however, that I have come across many a time, is dealing with friends and their decisions. It seems that everywhere I go, my friends or acquaintances make choices that are definitely not to “No Impact” standards. My best friend came to the library with a hot Slayter coffee, and my stomach immediately dropped…”but Kate,” I thought to myself “it’s Earth Day and you have a coffee mug in your dorm room!” It reminds of the situation Colin Beavan is faced with in his book “No Impact Man.” He writes, “I walked away down Fourteenth Street. Stopped at the red light on the corner of Third Avenue is a guy in a BMW. Anger washes over me. And self-righteousness. This idiot is guzzling oil and pumping carbon into the air in the middle of  a city that has wonderful public transportation, my mind tells me.” Like me, Colin is surrounded by people who are either ignorant about the state of the Earth or are just flat out don’t care!

I have always been aware of my anxious personality, but this week, it has certainly proven to be worse than normal. I kindly remind friends of the ways they can help reduce waste and “help the Earth,” but it seems like a perpetual struggle. Any suggestions? Should I just focus on what I can do individually?

oh, and happy Earth Day!

Claire Ludlow


  1. My friends have jokingly tried to negate the impacts I’m trying to make. My friend Conrad invited me into his room where he had all the lights on and both of his fridges open. He told me that he had just negated any positive effect I had made. He was joking but still…

  2. I totally feel your frustration, it seems to me that it is really hard to get my friends to care about their impact on the environment! I think it comes down to an issue of a lack of information for the general public. While sustainability is pretty popular on campus, there are a lot of little habits people don’t even think about the impact of. For example, a lot of my friends know we have compost in the dining halls, but they don’t really understand what it does. I agree with Andrew that if we come together as a group of students dedicated to lessening our impact it may help change our friends’ minds.

  3. I have been having the same problems with my friends! No one seems to care or listen. I feel as if we want to convince people to participate we need a larger support system or educate them more on the topic. One person telling a group of people to change their ways never seems to workout, unless you are very persuasive. We need groups of No Impacters to convince people. Power comes in numbers. Hope this kind of helps !

  4. Happy Earth Day! I totally agree with Harsh. I will also just add that this is actually a big theme that crops up doing this exercise and we will talk more about it in class…just remember you are not alone. That is really what blogging as a class is about. Counting our class only, there are at least 22 other people out there trying to have little to no impact this week! Suggestions: don’t tell people it is about saving “the Earth”…tell them it is about saving, to some extent, the lifestyle they are used to (climate, food, energy, water). Good luck!

  5. Hey Claire,
    I feel the same way as you about our friends around us . Luckily I was able to bring two of my friends to join me in “The No Impact” activity, and it was a big achievement for me. I strongly believe that you could convince a few of them by just laying out the rules to them and getting them excited about it. I think along with your personal goals for this week, you should also try to pull in others into this task as awareness about this, would help spread the message of sustainability in our community.

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