Happy Spring everyone, and soon enough it will be Summer because it is right around the corner!! As you already know, this semester is coming to a close before we know it! Therefore, I would like to reflect on how much I have changed and grown into a more sustainable person living here at the Sustainability House. Upon move – in, I can honestly say I was probably one of the most unsustainable person coming into this house. By this, I mean that I used to take very very long showers, always left lights on even when I wasn’t in the room and didn’t know too much about the 3 R’s (reducing, reusing and recycling). The only thing I ever did recycle was plastic bottles. I always had reusable shopping bags but I would always forget them at home. When it came to reusing things, I just didn’t. However, I was ready to change my ways of living and to learn about the issues that we are causing to our own environment. I was ready to find out new things and to pass it on to friends, family and future generations as an education major.
My journey had begun very quickly when I learned how short of a shower I needed to take. However, I went from taking at least twenty minute showers at home, to taking between a four to seven-minute shower and sometimes even less than that! I never would have thought that I would be able to shower that quickly! Next on my journey, I learned how much energy is being used when you do not turn a light off or unplug things when you are done with them by seeing our Efergy meter numbers which calculate the amount of energy being used all day long. I also became the person in the house who would run around the house turning lights off if they were left on.
Following this, my new housemates had given me a lesson about recycling. This consisted of what I can and cannot recycle. We even put recycling rules up on the refrigerator as a reminder. This became very helpful in the first couple of weeks of living here. By the end of the fall semester, I was able to recycle more things then I ever would have thought of myself. I was even given the opportunity of passing on my newly found knowledge about recycling to the Kindergarten Class at the Albright Early Learning Center and 13th and Union Elementary School. I can honestly say that this was such an amazing opportunity to show these children that what we do in our everyday lives really influences the environment so we need to begin to reduce, reuse and recycle to help the environment rather than hurting it.
Looking back on how I was in the beginning prior to move in, and looking at how I am today, almost at the end of the year, I am a completely different person. The Sustainability House has changed me into a person who is more aware of the damage I was causing to the environment. I cannot wait to pass on all of the things I have learned over the past year.