I’m going to brag for a minute, if you don’t mind. Just like all first-year students at
OK. Enough bragging. Now on to the lasting impressions of that evening and of the No Impact Week experience:
- Colin Beavan is kinda snarky and I adore him for it. As Mom put it, “I’m one of his disciples.” Amen to that.
- I can’t say that I miss the feeling of helplessness or inherent naivety of being a freshman in college. Or the pride that comes with admitting it to yourself or anyone else. If I knew then what I know now…
- You can do as much or as little in your lifetime, but you’re the only one accountable for those choices.
- No one likes to be told they aren’t doing enough. Educating and leading by example are more effective than lecturing from within a glass house.
- Replacing all the incandescent light bulbs in a house cost. A lot.
- Don’t beat yourself up for not being able to afford new energy-efficient technology, like a dreamy gray water system or whole-house solar. Remember: small ripples, big waves. Do what you can and what makes sense for your life, situation, circumstances, and budget, but definitely do everything you can, even if it means redefining your norms.
- Before you buy anything, ask yourself if you 1. Need it or 2. Want it. If you need it, see if there’s a more ecologically-responsible alternative. If you want it, put it back and wait a couple days. Find out why you think you want it. In the end, it’s all just stuff that will end up in a landfill. Don’t make it more important than it needs to be.
- Support local, support handmade, support indie business. Big box stores and fast food are killing us.
- Learn where your food comes from. It’s a scary, gross, sad realization, but ridiculously important.
- Why does Styrofoam still exist? It’s not even recyclable!
- You don’t need a straw to drink a beverage. Be that guy who drinks from a cup. Way cooler.
- Have fun and freak out your friends by investigating the contents of your health and beauty products at the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
- I hate eco-friendly toilet paper, but I’m trying to learn to like it. Sort of. Kinda.
- Challenge yourself to redefine your personal “norm” – be willing to change things that aren’t working. (*see eco life lesson #6)
- Don’t give up on yourself. Trust in what drives you; be persistent in standing up for what you love.
Time for hanging my laundry out to dry. Thanks for listening. Go become the change you envision. Be fearless, relentless, and do good things.