Sadly, I had a few mishaps today that really tarnished my no impact record. My morning went really well, and I thought I was in the homestretch for the week. But then I had lunch for Communication Fellows, and had to use a paper plate. Strike one! It was really depressing to use the plate, because I knew that I could have used my Tupperware from meal x last week, but I had not brought it. When I saw the pile of paper plates and napkins in the trash, it made my stomach hurt a little. It is interesting that this sight would not have made such an impact on me even a week ago. At least I did not use a Styrofoam cup for my water, and instead used my water bottle. Hopefully this feeling of guilt can be turned into a feeling of action and motivation to waste less overall.
After that catastrophe, I had to carpool to lab at Flying J Farms. Strike two. I did not feel as bad about this because it was an academic reason, but it still felt like I was cheating. One of the things that really stuck with me today is the concept of responsibility and conscientiousness. I recycled and turned off the lights before this project, but I was not totally aware of how much energy is wasted in all of the academic buildings, or other issues on campus. Now, I see people wasting food or resources, and it strikes a nerve that I did not know I had. I think in my head that these people need to be more responsible, to truly think about their impact. And I think this is one of the main points Colin is trying to make. Although I may not be able to reduce my impact down to zero, I am conscious of the decisions I am making and should be able to take responsibility for them if something goes wrong. This is a big issue that Americans do not think about, and it is a very important one in the movement to reduce energy use and overall impact.
On a plus side, I am sitting in the library tonight using the lights here, instead of using more energy in my room. Although I am still using energy, I can somewhat use the excuse that the lights would be on anyway, and here I am around more people. Plus, being in here helps me focus, and hopefully I will get more work done in a shorter amount of time. Well, here’s to a good Friday and positive end to No Impact Week!