“No Impact Man” is a documentary about a man and his family trying to make zero impact for one year. This movie inspired me to take more steps in ensuring I waste less. I believe that waste is one of the largest problems we face today. Because of the growing population and products, we are experiencing an increase in wasteful tendencies. We need to take steps to ensure that we have an efficient and responsible way to deal with our waste.
Composting is probably one of the more practical ways to seriously reduce. Eventually I want to compost, however, it would be hard for me to do at this time in my life. College kids produce some of the most waste of anyone else in society. This is due to eating out, drinking and overall laziness from doing dishes to recycling. I stopped buying paper cups and plates and started doing dishes instead. I do not buy plastic water bottles anymore; I keep a large plastic container and refill it with tap water. The television is a major source of energy and I plan to keep it off during the week, only watching it on the weekends. This one is the hardest to do, I think. Especially when it is sitting idly in the middle of the room. It can be tempting! My boyfriend and I have decided to only flush the toilet if necessary, or at least less often than every time.
I have also taken steps in making sure my showers are short, I do not keep the sink running when I am not using it and turning off the air conditioner when it is cool outside. Running the fan and opening a window can help cool your house naturally during the fall and winter, especially in a hot climate such as Florida’s. I also bought candles to use. Not only are they beautiful and set a nice mood in your house, it can help you turn off lights that are not needed. I have decided to get food from the Farmer’s market on Saturdays downtown. This helps not only my health but with trash consumption.
Like most Americans, I am addicted to coffee. I tend to buy a lot of it and I use and throw away a cup at least once everyday. I have decided to bring a cup for them to fill each time I go to Starbucks. I have also brought a mug into my work so I do not use a paper cup twice a week. Although these are a large amount of small things, I believe that it will add up to a significant difference.
When I came home after watching this movie, although I have seen it before, I realized that there are ways in which I can reduce waste just by doing little things. When I go to a store to get a few things, I ask to not have a plastic bag. Why waste it if I can carry the items? Once, a woman looked at me very strangely and even made fun of me. I felt that this should not be such an odd occurrence. We should be AWARE and realize that everything we buy, consume, take, and waste is going to end up somewhere. If it is not biodegradable, it will sit in a pile somewhere forever (Or at least a very long time.) Every plastic that has ever been made STILL exists. We are just now experiencing the effects that humans make on the planet. Maybe when our kids are our age they will start to see the positive effects that we can make.