Reducing Plastic Waste

As I sit thinking about sustainable behaviors I’d like to adjust into my lifestyle over the next few weeks, there lie four plastic water bottles on my desk in front of me. They have all been bought over the course of just the two days I’ve been back at school, and that’s not including the ones I decided to throw away somewhere on campus. During my pre-Spring Break dorm cleanout, I remember making several trips to the recycling bin to get rid of all the plastic water bottles that had accumulated around my room. Sure, I was making an effort to recycle the bottles, but what if I wasn’t getting through nearly as many in the first place? With all the cool reusable water bottles I’ve seen advertised recently, I figured it would be cheaper and more sustainable to make the switch. For more of a challenge, I plan to completely eliminate plastic water bottles from my purchases, and refill a reusable one all day every day.

The biggest initial challenge in changing the way I drink water will be making the use of my bigger, better water bottle part of my daily routine. Remembering to put it in my bag in the morning will not be too difficult. On those quick trips to Lower or Simon’s for dinner, however, I will have to add ‘water bottle’ to the ‘keys, phone, wallet’ check as I leave my room. Facing the consequence of being parched during my meal, hopefully this will catch on quickly.

I’m really looking forward to making this change as a first step to living more sustainably. I was shocked to read that if everyone in the world had the ecological footprint that I did, we would need 4.2 Earths worth of resources! When I was living at home, I didn’t pay much attention to the sustainability of the way I lived, figuring my parents would be taking care of household recycling, energy usage, and food purchases. Now that I’m living more independently, it is up to me to start making small changes in my routine to hopefully be down by a Planet Earth or two in terms of resources by the time I’m living on my own.

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