Day 2 of No Impact Week
Yesterday was the start of the “No Impact Experiment” on Yes! magazine’s website. The goal throughout the week is to really examine your consumption on all fronts, and see what you can really reduce the amount of stuff that you use, buy, or really think you “need” to have in order to have a happy life. Since we live on a fairly limited income (family of four living on a single income of $34k a year), I’m always trying to keep costs down, and have been thinking I’m doing a pretty good job of it.
This week, though, is opening my eyes to the fact that there’s still plenty of room for improvement! Today was my bi-weekly grocery shopping trip with my heart-sister. We carpool, laugh, have a good time, and get this sometimes onerous task done. Along the way, we usually stop for coffee and breakfast, and occasionally lunch. This time we remembered our travel mugs, so no paper cups were used, but we grabbed a breakfast sandwich to eat on the road, which meant paper to wrap it in, and a bag. Lunch was at a restaurant that uses ceramic plates, metal utensils, and plastic cups for their dine-in customers (which we usually are). Not too much consumption, but a little. In the survey for the start of No Impact Week, I’d said that I never drink bottled water – but I realized today, that wasn’t correct. When we’re grocery shopping, we each grab one bottle of Hint water (water flavored with fruit essences and not sweetened or carbonated). It’s a treat for us, but it’s a totally unnecessary purchase, and one that generates the use of a plastic bottle that must then be recycled. I buy foods in bulk when I can, but I don’t always remember to bring containers or bags with me to reuse. I’ve placed the bags from today’s shopping trip in a basket next to my shopping bags, so I can grab them when next shopping trip rolls around.
While making my list of things we constantly consume, I realized that paper towels and napkins are pretty high on the list. So I’ll be repurposing a double-bed sized top sheet that’s still in great condition – I’m going to cut the sheet into squares and create a whole bunch of napkins that we’ll then be able to launder with the rest of our weekly washing. I’m sure as I get further into this, there will be more eye-openers.