An Open Letter to My Fellow Members of the Sustainability House,

2016-04-20_16.42.17I can’t believe this year is already coming to an end! It feels like just yesterday that we were moving into the Sustainability House to begin our junior year. Coming into this house I didn’t know what to expect. Yes, I knew what it meant to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, and to live more sustainably, etc.; however, knowing and doing are two different things.

We all know that upon moving into this house, I was not the most sustainable person. I enjoyed my 30 minute showers, leaving lights on because “I was coming right back”, and throwing things in the trashcan because I was always on the go and didn’t have time to properly dispose of my waste.

In this letter I want to thank you for being my role models and always pushing me and each other to do better.

Thank you for all the friendly, and not so friendly, reminders to turn lights off when leaving a room. Sometimes it’s the constant reprimands that are needed to really break a bad habit. Had you all not been on my back about the little things, I most likely would still be doing them.

Thank you for making shower times a fun competition. Sometimes we need to bring out our inner child to improve our adult habits. By “saving water” for our pet fish, Roger, we were able to cut our shower times down to as low as 2.5 minutes! Never in a million years prior to living here would I have wanted to willingly take a shower under 10 minutes much less 5 minutes. But thanks for showing me that living sustainably can be fun!

Thank you for being the whisper in my ear asking “do you really need to buy this?” As I pick up almost every over-packaged item in the super market or even a new shirt to add to my overflowing wardrobe, you constantly remind me that I can live without it. Instead of buying those over packaged products, I’ve learned to buy many things in bulk and instead of buying a new shirt for the weekend I wear something I already have and change it up with a necklace. Not only has this helped reduce my ecological footprint but it has saved me money as well!

Thank you for being my own personal teachers. You not only taught me how to live sustainably but the reason behind why you should. All of our daily actions and habits have an impact on the environment we depend on and sometimes we need that reminder. You have taught me everything from what can and cannot be recycled or composted to facts about how long certain items live in the landfill. Sometimes we need that eye opener into reality to make us want to change our actions.

Lastly, I want to thank you for helping me become a role model myself. Coming into this house I would have never pictured myself teaching children as young as kindergartners and first graders on how they too can save the environment. I have learned that the most important lesson to take from this house is to pass on what we’ve learned here, to our friends, family, future roommates, etc. The only way to create a change in the world is by becoming a role model yourself.

 

Thanks again for being the world’s greatest housemates, role models, and supporters,

Xoxo Hannah

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