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Ashe Blogs on No Impact Week

Follow Minnesota high-school student Ashe Jaafaru's video diary as she takes on No Impact Week.

Click here for more stories from No Impact Week.

So far this week:

Sunday Consumption

Live a fuller and happier life by buying less stuff.

Click here for more stories from Day 1: Consumption.

Minneapolis, Minnesota


WOOOwwhoooo! Day numero UNO! Today I had to limit my spending and consumption. First things first, I made a list of all the things I needed to buy this week: gum (5 gum preferably) Arizona Iced Tea (raspberry flavored of course!) movie tickets, (going to see Narnia on Friday!) and that’s pretty much it. I really don’t buy that much within a “normal” week.  If I do, it’s usually food or a beverage from a store (and who would want used food?)

I also bought tons of stuff during the holidays, and now I’m broke… But I am and will forever be a Thrift Store junkie. I buy clothes, books, shoes and other miscellaneous items at my three favorite second-hand stores. Plus my church even has a shop called Cornerstone where you can by various items for real cheap, sometimes just for a quarter. Is that awesome or what?

By all means, I have my “special bag” ready for action!

Monday Trash

Ashe's trash bag

What's in the bag? Ashe's trash from Days 1 and 2.

Discover how wasting less improves your life.

Click here for more stories from Day 2: Trash.

Trash is everywhere. It’s in the streets, it’s on the side of the road, and it’s in or homes! It’s something that is a major problem on this planet, in every country. This problem occurs more harshly in the developing or underdeveloped countries of the world.

I initially thought today would be tough—and it turns out, it was.

I woke up feeling that I couldn’t throw anything away. I had to eat everything on my plate, and not even think about disposing waste anywhere else than my “special bag." 

I really have seen firsthand what trash can do. My parents are from Nigeria and we visit every five years or so to see family. Lots of people don’t have proper trash disposal—let alone recycling systems—so you’ll sometimes see trash heaps outside of someone’s home.

At first it was easy—until I went to work that evening. I work as a dietary aid in a nursing home. What I mainly do is work in the kitchen and dining room to help serve the dinner for the residents. I served the food and bus the tables of the dinning room, and I realized that I was throwing lots of stuff away! Tons of food, napkins, and milk cartons were just thrown in the trash. And what hurt the most is that I couldn’t do anything about it. You couldn’t reuse the food because people ate out of it, plus we even have to throw away the leftovers that were perfectly fine. The job requires me to. I felt so hopeless, it just made me think: “Lots of people don’t even have food…” Jeez, such a harsh reality.

I really have seen firsthand what trash can do. My parents are from Nigeria and we visit every five years or so to see family. Lots of people don’t have proper trash disposal—let alone recycling systems—so you’ll sometimes see trash heaps outside of someone’s home. I feel the main reason is awareness. People just need to be better informed about what we do to Mother Earth. One of my many dreams is to go back to Nigeria and promote better awareness about hazardous behavior like littering.

Tuesday Transportation

Burn calories, not fossil fuels.

Click here for more stories from Day 3: Transportation.

Whoah, I just realized I only went to one place today: School. The best place in the world… SIKE! Since it’s winter here in Minnesota (or should I say MinneSNOWta), biking or walking was out of the question. Plus my school is a gazillion miles away from here.

But today I woke up at seven ‘o clock today to get ready for school. I usually take the school bus, unless I get a ride from family or friends. I have to be at my bus stop at 8:05am to get picked up. I go to school in east St. Paul but live in south Minneapolis. My bus ride is approximately fifty minutes long (yeah, I know) and there must be about 30-40 riders on the bus. That got me wondering how much gas we use each day, to school and back?

But then I thought, how much gas and energy would be wasted if all 30+ riders each drove in individual vehicles?

Dang. Good thing we didn’t.       

Wednesday Food Thursday Energy

Healthy eating can also lessen your footprint.

Click here for more stories on Day 4: Food.

Replace kilowatts with ingenuity.

Click here for more stories on Day 5: Energy.


"It Couldn't Be Done"

A midweek pep talk for No Impact Week:

Our remarkable No Impact blogger has words of encouragement for anyone who feels like giving up, performing a poem by Edgar Albert Guest.

Friday Water

Soak up the personal benefits of using less water.

Click here for more stories on Day 6: Water.

Click here for more blogs, stories, and resources for
No Impact Week with YES! Magazine


ASHEMeet Ashe

I am a 17-year-old junior in high school. The reason I wanted to do this is that I wanted to see if I could really commit to this.  It's not easy to be eco-friendly 24/7 but if I could last at least a week, reducing my carbon footprint as a teenager, maybe I could last even longer.  I mainly wanted to do this project for the experience. It seemed really fun and something that would ultimately be beneficial.

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