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The Chattanooga Prep Girls Blog on No Impact Week

Three juniors at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga explore ways to live without the excess amid the demands of teenage life.
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Click here for more stories from No Impact Week.

The week so far:

Monday Trash

Discover how wasting less improves your life.

Click here for more stories from Day 2: Trash.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Megan Grzesiak: Each morning as I leave in a hurry for school, I go into the pantry and grab a granola bar or a pack of crackers. Each food is individually wrapped in its own plastic wrapper, requiring it to be thrown away afterward.

Today, however, as I went to the pantry I tried to look for food that won't leave me with something to throw away later. In my house, it was almost impossible. It amazes me how many items we use on a daily basis that have a plastic wrapper. I had a hard time finding something in my pantry for either breakfast or a snack that didn’t require me to throw away something.

There needs to be an alternative way that food can keep fresh without using something such as plastic that is a waste to the environment.

Everything we use seems to come in either a tiny or a huge plastic wrapper—a wrapper that has been giving me difficulty with this No Impact Week.

There needs to be an alternative way that food can keep fresh without using something  that is destructive to the environment like plastic.

Hopefully, I can find another breakfast food that I can grab on the go, without a piece of plastic to go with it.

Tuesday Transportation

Burn calories, not fossil fuels.

Click here for more stories from Day 3: Transportation.

Mary Copler, Photo Courtesy Mary Copler

Photo courtesy of Mary Copler

Mary Copler: Participating in No Impact Week has reminded me of the three weeks I spent in Valencia, Spain last summer. During this trip—for the first time in my life—walking was my primary form of transportation.

Since it is No Impact Week I would like to walk more in order to reduce my environmental impact. However, walking is more than an eco-friendly form of transportation—it's also the simplest form.  Should not the simplest form of transportation also be our primary form of transportation?

Walking to the market, my classes, and cafés in Spain simply felt right. I found myself envious of my Spanish family, that by being able to walk everywhere their world was so much smaller yet so much larger at the same time.

Spain, Photo by Mary Copler

Mary Copler enjoyed the simple pleasure of walking everywhere during her time in Spain.

Photo by Mary Copler

In my life, it is nearly impossible for walking to be the primary form of transportation. Instead I drive in an enclosed steel cage, and I watch other steel cages and bright lights and blur by. I am unable to see my world, which makes it smaller even though I am covering more of it than I could have by walking.

Sarah Whitney Anderson: These days, it is difficult to go without a car. I currently live in Dalton, Ga., which is about thirty minutes from Chattanooga. So I drive every day to school and back. I feel very guilty for this act, but feel like I cannot change anything.

Sarah W. Anderson

There are three other girls who live in Dalton, so we try to carpool as much as possible although it is hard. We each have very different schedules because of afternoon activities like dance, running, cheerleading, and community service. Some girls have siblings to take and pick up, so we drive separately in these cases. We all wish to ride together but often come home at separate times.

Living in Dalton is great! I get the small town feel here and the big city atmosphere at school and on weekends. I see diverse ways of life, but my reality does not allow me to stop driving. If I were to live in downtown Chattanooga and also work there, then maybe I could stop driving.

So during this week I have enjoyed working on reducing and not quitting. I feel better for changing my lifestyle and seeing areas I can fix. I will continue to hope I may be able to reduce more and help the environment.

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

 


Meet the Girls

We are a group of juniors at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tennessee and we signed up for No Impact Week because we wanted to learn how to live without the excess. Every day, our actions have a negative effect on our environment and we want to figure out how to decrease our harm to the environment by living more simply. We’ve been studying the No Impact concept, and by participating in No Impact Week, we hope to learn what we could do without in our lives.

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