Reading about my classmates’ sustainable behavior change and forming a little community around reducing energy use was very helpful. Their thought patterns and process of changing their behavior was very similar to mine. We all realized it was a bit more difficult than we anticipated. I was glad to find out that I was not the only one having some trouble making the change. I was reassured knowing that I do not have to be perfect in my behavior change, but that I am moving in a positive direction toward more sustainable behavior.
Not only were my classmates’ experiences motivational and reassuring, but I also learned some new techniques for changing my behavior. I did not know that cleaning the AC unit could make it more efficient at lower settings. I also thought it was a great idea to keep a log of my behavior to see how it is improving or staying the same. These are things I can consider and implement as I continue with the sustainable behavior challenge.
While our tactics all varied, we had many common barriers to our behavior change. The biggest barrier for reducing AC and TV use was habit and comfort. Sometimes our behavior change makes it difficult to sleep due to lack of comforting background noise, and not being able to sleep is a very annoying barrier to overcome. Knowing that I am not alone in this struggle, however, made it a little better. I can tell myself that if there are other people in my community making these sacrifices, then I can too.
Forming a community and reading about others’ experiences has made me feel proud about the changes we are making. I hope that I am encouraging and reassuring them as much as their experiences have done for me. I also hope that they can implement some of my tactics that they may not have considered. That is why it is great to be part of a community. Everyone is working together toward the same goal, which is easier and more enjoyable than doing it alone. I feel better about the change that I am making for the environment. If you believe, you can achieve, and I have started to believe that my efforts are worth it because they are adding to the efforts of my community.