Well it’s official, the semester is finally over and what a relief! My favorite thing about winter break is going home and leaving papers and other school work behind. However, there is one thing I’ve learned this semester that I will take home with me, and that’s the lessons I’ve learned thus far from living in the sustainability house.
I once mentioned how it takes about twenty one days to break a habit or to start a new one. Well now it’s time to put that to the test. Learning to live more sustainable in my everyday life has been nothing but breaking one ‘bad’ habit and starting a new one. For example, I’ve learned to stop being lazy and to wash out and recycle all products that can be recycled, I’ve stopped wasting water in the shower by eliminating the time I would normally spend just standing under the warm water, I’ve also picked up the habit of not only scanning the supermarket for great deals but for products that that come as I need them without all of the fancy packaging, and I started composting my food scraps, putting them back to where they came from- the soil, not the landfill. These are only a few things I am taking from this house.
But here is where we put these habits to the test. It was easy to keep up these behaviors when you are surrounded by people who are living like you. We set examples for each other and push each other to do even better things. As we leave for break, it is time for us to take the lessons we’ve learned and to set examples for our families and/or friends back home. I am not going to lie, some people in this house are looking forward to getting home and taking that nice long 25 minute shower that we would never take here. But we must ask ourselves; then what is the point?
What is the point of learning to live sustainable if we don’t take what we’ve learned here and apply it our lives no matter where we go. Learning to live sustainable is not a temporary practice to see if we can do it or not; anyone can do that. It’s about making a permanent change to better our planet once small step at a time. No one said it would be easy.
So as my housemates and I prepare to leave for the semester I challenge ourselves to take what we’ve learned here and to act as role models back home. Our goal from the start was not to just learn how to live sustainably but how to takes what we learn and pass it on to create small changes even if it’s with just our families and friends. You never know what kind of domino affect you could create; however by resorting back to our old 25mins showers is not going to create the change we were so focused on achieving.
Until next time,