Earth Month Challenge Week 4 Reflection

Over the course of earth month, I have learned that I am not as eco-friendly as I thought I was at the beginning of this month. The small changes that I made each week showed me that, although I cannot take all of the steps to reduce my carbon footprint that I would like to, I can take many small steps together to reduce my impact. I learned that choosing food and water options that are better for the planet over those that are the most convenient does not take a lot of effort. For example, during my final week I chose to give up red meat, and I thought that I would end up eating the same foods in the dining halls all of the time.  However, over the course of the week I did not end up eating the same foods everyday, instead I still ate a variety of things, while cutting out red meat. I will continue to eat less red meat, even though the challenge is over, because it is a simple step that I can take that improves my health, as well as the health of the earth. I also will continue to carry a reusable mug with me all of the time, and use as few disposable cups as possible. This was the easiest challenge that I gave myself, and I am surprised that I did not think of doing this before the challenge began. I will also continue to turn off the water when I brush my teeth and wash my face, because leaving the water on as I complete these tasks serves no purpose. I will work on taking shorter showers over the coming months, however, as the weather gets warmer I will be taking more showers, so I may not end up making much of an impact as I had hoped. If I were to try another challenge it would probably be the waste and toxicity challenge, because when I am at home I often drive, even when my destination is within walking or biking distance of my house. Over the summer, I am going to challenge myself to drive less, and walk more. This will be a challenge for me because I am often running late and in a hurry, but hopefully it will teach me how to do a better job of managing my time, and it will help me be more active.

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