Day 5 of No Impact Week… as I reflect back on my day, I feel like I had a pretty solid ending to my attempt to reduce my impact as much as possible this week. Starting off the day, I actually found it much more effective to consume as little water as possible when showering. I have adopted the method of just using room temperature water when I shower and turning off the faucet when it was not needed resulting in the water actually only being on for 1 minute. Back at home in San Diego, California I have been forced to take shorter showers in order to do my part to reduce the effects of the drought (and not get my family fined $500). When I came to Denison, it almost seemed as though my conscience use of water went right down the drain as I felt no shame in taking 20 minute showers more often than I would like to admit. Even though Ohio is not in a State of Emergency because of an urgent water crisis, there is no reason to not do my part in trying to preserve the very small % of fresh water that is available to us. The next thing that I proud of is my reduction in the amount I drive. I have no reason to drive all over the place. Since the end of August till now, I have added over 7,000 miles to my car and have purchased hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of gas. Even though I do have to drive my own car for my sport and also for spring break down in Myrtle Beach, there is still no reason why I have added anything more than 3,000 miles. It just shows how I didn’t and many other like don’t think about how the convenience of a car adds so much to the problem of pollution. I continued to enjoy ho-hum time with friends and leaving my electronics behind. Even being outside with friends, I found that I am so much happier and my need to consume for the temporary satisfaction was quickly disappearing.
As I get ready to shut down my computer and turn all of my electronics off, only one thing comes to mind. Wow, I would be lying if I said that this week was easy. There were more times then I can count where I was in a tough situation. From the temptations of soaking in hot water in the shower for far too long, to easily reaching for processed food wrapped in plastic, even to unnecessarily driving to places out of laziness or convenience, all really showed me what we take for granted. Even though the No Impact Week is over, I feel like many of the things that I have learned this week I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Just being aware of the things we consume and the long chain of pollution that comes with it is incredibly important. Because of my greater understanding, I will now be able to try to reduce my impact as I continue here at Denison and even after I leave on whatever adventure I embark on.
Colin’s book, No Impact Man, not only was an entertaining read, it really touched on how we live our daily lives. We are so blinding to the fact we are on the hedonic treadmill and that we consume to fill in the gaps of happiness in our lives. There is such an importance to making time for ho-hum and being in tune with oneself. At least for me, this week showed me how to find happiness and create lasting memories with friends and loved ones. Moving on from here, I look forward to doing my part to protect this place that we call home.