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The week so far:
Click here for more stories from Day 2: Trash.
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.
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.
Click here for more stories from Day 3: Transportation.
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.
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.
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.
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No Impact Week with YES! Magazine