This experience has taught me much about my own use of resources and the resource use of others. Forming a community, though my behavior change was slightly different from others in my group, did help me to assess my own behavior. Seeing that some others used about as much plastic bottles as I used bags before the behavior change taught me that we all contribute differently to the environment. There is something we can all improve on. Reading other people’s posts made me reflect on my own plastic bottle use, nominal as it was, and make a change by buying a reusable one to decrease it.
We all faced challenges in changing our behavior as well. We had moments where we slipped up, such as forgetting to leave enough time to fill a reusable bottle in the morning, forgetting not to buy one at breakfast, or forgetting to tell the CVS clerk that we don’t need a bag for a pack of gum. This helped me to feel that I wasn’t alone in changing my behavior, that I had a loosely knit, formal, and somewhat abstract community that were there to support my behavior and go through things with me. I also was encouraged by people’s comments on my posts and felt I was being supportive by commenting on their posts as well. I wanted to question if we were all doing things for the environment that had meaningful consequences. I felt that moving forward with a community behind me would help me to keep up the behavior change and carry it into the future even without the continued support.
Having a community influenced the way I viewed my experiences with the sustainable behavior challenge in a few ways. There were people keeping tabs on me, even if they couldn’t see what I was doing on a daily basis. I was also excited by other people’s behavior changes and felt that having other people, like me, read their posts would help them to feel they were supported and held accountable for the things they were doing to help the environment. I also viewed the challenge as very private, even though I was blogging about it, before I had a group to form a community around the change. These things combined made me feel that in the future, I should involve others in my perceptions of my sustainable or non-sustainable behaviors as a check. I should feel that I am making a change that is important to not just me, but the world community.