I have officially survived my first week of acting more sustainably and I have to say that it hasn’t been to bad. The most difficult aspect of reaching my goals was cutting out the long showers. I used to take two showers anywhere from a 10-30 minutes, which I think that everyone can agree is way to long. My goal was to cut this down to only one shower and keep it too a 10 minute maximum. The first shower I took was the toughest, but I found that there is a threshold time that I needed to stay under. I discovered that once I am in the shower for 10 minutes it becomes increasingly relaxing and I am much more likely to stay in there for much longer. With this in mind I have been able to cut down my shower time to about 5-7 minutes, essentially anytime before 10 when I would get to comfortable. This has made this challenge much easier than I had anticipated. However, my other challenge of using a reusable water bottle has not been as easy as I thought. I always have a case of waters in my room, making it very easy and convenient to just grab one. Reusable water bottles have made the very quick and easy task of just “grabbing one and going” much more difficult. Whenever I wake up late I don’t have enough time to fill one up, so I resorted to grabbing a plastic water bottle. That was on the first day of the sustainability challenge and I have improved a little since then. The next morning I again woke up late and instead of grabbing a plastic bottle I skipped that step altogether and left without any water. This worked out OK for the day but it is not really what I had in mind because I still want to have a water bottle with me in the mornings. So, surprisingly this part of my challenge thus far, has been the most difficult.
In my research I found a study that voluntary water conservation in San Antonio, Texas, has decreased water usage by citizens by 110 gallons per day, cutting down usage from 225 gallons per day to only 115 (Dale, 2013). This shows that consciously making small changes really does make a difference and these changes are not as hard to perform as you may think. This study makes me think that my efforts actually do make a small difference and if others also made this change there could be a significant impact.
Dale, M. (2013). Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis. Ground Water, 51(2), 161.