LIVE: Earth Hour Follow-up

Standard

Back in April I posted about Earth Hour and changes I would be incorporating into my life to honor it. I never posted an update, and even though only a few people read it and even less commented on it – I had one comment that I really appreciated and I’ve decided I owe a follow-up.

I did not manage to make all of my goals.

I did not recycle in April, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. This is because my town offers curbside recycling to “all” residents and therefore doesn’t operate recycle centers. After much searching and asking around, I was unable to locate a recycle center. The problem with this is that the city only offers curbside recycling to traditional hourses or apartments with 4 or less units. I live in an apartment complex and the only thing available is a dumpster which is not a recycling dumpster. Luckily, later on in the summer a co-worker offered to get me a recycle bin and now every other week I drop my recycling off at his house in the morning and pick the bin back up after work. It didn’t cost him anything to request an extra bin and now I can recycle. So while I didn’t meet my goal in April, I’m now able to do so!

I did go vegetarian for the month, with the exception of one meal so I’m going to call that one a success! The only reason I ate meat for one meal was because I went to my cousin’s and did not warn her about my self-imposed challenge. Now I could’ve told her last minute and figured out something else to eat for dinner, but I didn’t want to be rude and she would have went out of her way to make me something special and I didn’t want her to do that. I didn’t keep up being vegetarian, but I’ve definitely cut down on my meat intake.

I mostly used reuseable bags. A few times I forgot my bags and did not stick to my promise that I had to have them to go shopping. I decided wasting extra gas just to get the bags kind of defeated my purpose and made an effort to go through the self-checkout and cram as much into the plastic bags as I could. I hate to say that this is something I did not continue after April, though I have been making sure to recycle my plastic bags.

I guess I more or less made my goal of having only one light on at a time and this is something I continue to try to do. Sometimes I have on more than one, but I’m making a conscious effort not to leave lights on in rooms I’m not in. I overheard some international students at a restaurant awhile ago complaining about how their American roommates seem to need every light on in the apartment even when one would suffice, and how they found that odd. It made me realize that as Americans, we take things like constant access to electricity for granted, and waste a lot more of it than is necessary so I’ve continued to try to be more wise about my energy use. I haven’t really seen this reflected in my energy bill, but I’m doing my small part!

So there’s my lengthy follow-up! This did inspire me to come up with more monthly challenges, but I think I need to stick to one thing a month instead of trying to do four completely different things. Currently, I’m doing a 30-day yoga challenge and plan to come up with other challenges for 2014.