This last step of the sustainable behavior challenge has been my favorite. I really like how the WordPress site allows us to categorize our posts so that we can easily see our group members’ posts and read about their own experiences with the challenge.
As I read through all of my group members’ posts and comments I realized that they are having many of the same challenges and seeing the same rewards that I am. Other members of my group have realized that it’s impossible to go completely paperless while being a college student. Just like Hana said, you can’t ask a professor to take an electronic exam or tell your professors to stop giving you paper handouts, but I think we all agree that going paperless with the things we can control has cut down on our overall paper usage. I also found it comforting that others are also finding that doing readings electronically takes more time. Getting used to the seemingly endless scrolling and digital annotations is difficult, but I think that with more practice this will become easier and I will progressively take less time to complete readings. However, Hana brings up a good point in one of her blog posts that there are many benefits to electronic text. I have noticed that it is very convenient to be able to quickly and easily look up unfamiliar terms or click on external links that are present in the text. She also talks about the digital transition that is occurring, and I completely agree with this point and think that this sustainable behavior challenge is helping me to develop habits that will be very useful in the future.
Having a SBC community has made me realize that many of the challenges and experiences I’m having are pretty common even though the exact challenges that we have chosen differ. Because we have been reliant on paper throughout our education many of the learning strategies we’ve developed involve paper, and breaking these habits is difficult. Reading the other blog posts in my SBC community also makes me realize that I could’ve done more to go paperless. I didn’t even think about sticky notes as a way to reduce paper usage and I do use a lot of sticky notes, especially when working in the lab where I do research. I think I could’ve added this behavior change to my challenge if I had thought about it earlier, which makes me wish we had formed these communities earlier. Forming these communities at the beginning of the challenge instead of the end would help to give others more ideas and strategies to help be successful throughout. That being said, hopefully everyone will continue with these behavior changes, so the ideas and strategies my community has given me will help me to continue to work towards being paperless in the future.