Grace Blogs on No Impact Week

Grace Porter is going it alone as the sole student at Bainbridge High School to take on the No Impact Week challenge.
Monday Trash

Click here for more stories from No Impact Week.

So far this week:

Discover how wasting less improves your life.

Click here for more stories from Day 2: Trash.

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Grace Porter 2On Sunday, I chose a medium-sized, clear bag to keep as my personal trash bag and to tote around with me during the week. I tossed in a couple of trash items from the day: an empty box of soap, empty box of cookies, an empty mochi container, some cookie wrappers, and a napkin. An ample amount of room remained. This should be really, really easy I thought to myself.

The next morning, as I groggily woke up for the first day of school since winter break, I wouldn’t have remembered my personal trash bag if my mom hadn’t reminded me on my way out the door. Shoving it in my backpack, it remained there for most of the school day without being touched. I was extremely surprised to only just realize how little trash I created while at school. I normally bring my own lunch in a reusable bag, so that wasn’t a problem.

Trash Bag, Photo by Grace PorterThe only thing I did forget to do was to keep the paper towels I used after washing my hands in a bathroom. I never noticed how many paper towels are used in one day in just one of those bathrooms. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the trash bin not completely overflowing with paper towels. And, in some sort of school district effort to conserve water, the motion-detecting water faucets meekly dribble out the minimum hand-washing amount of water, and yet (myself included) there is a strong, universal urge to use 1-7 paper towels to make sure one’s hands are completely dry before exiting the bathroom.

This week, through perhaps many No Impact tribulations, I’m going to give it my all to remain a “one-sheeter.”

Tuesday Transportation

Burn calories, not fossil fuels.

Click here for more stories from Day 3: Transportation.

Waiting for Bus, Photo by Grace Porter

Grace Porter waits for public transportation on her way to school.

As for green transportation, I decided to take the city bus the five or six miles to my high school. I walked down my driveway and across the street on the cold, dark Tuesday morning.

Waving down the bus was easy enough, and my bus card made the transaction process quick, easy, and paperless. The ride was enjoyable, but when the bus reached the top of High School Road and I pushed the “STOP” button next to my seat, it kept going.

I pushed it a couple more times, but to no avail. I was embarrassed; there were plenty of adults sitting behind me who had seen my shy attempt to propose my destination stop. Instead I did the best I could to play it off that I was also going to the ferry terminal with the rest of the adult commuters.

The ferry terminal itself is about two, maybe three miles from my school. When I got there, I began the long, dreary (uphill) walk back to Bainbridge High School, arriving about forty minutes late for class.

It’s quite difficult to be a student and get to school without driving while avoiding taking the school bus.

Coming home from school, I carpooled with a friend. Throughout the school day I realized that I shouldn’t be upset with the bus system on Bainbridge Island. We live in a rural area, and bus stops aren’t very realistic for the morning commute.

However, when I got off the bus at the ferry terminal, there was not a single bus departing back towards the high school. This made sense, as there would be so few passengers on a given morning. It’s quite difficult to be a student and get to school without driving while avoiding taking the school bus. Maybe tomorrow I’ll work out the public transportation kinks.

Wednesday Food

Thursday Energy

Healthy eating can also lessen your footprint.

Click here for more stories from Day 4: Food.

Replace kilowatts with ingenuity.

Click here for more stories on Day 5: Energy.

T&C Food, Photo by Grace PorterThis day was definitely my favorite so far of No Impact Week. I was wary at first because it's January and there’s not an abundance of local produce available.

My mom took me to Town and Country, a local grocery store, and we came home with a feast of smoked salmon, pink lady apples, Tim’s potato chips, Washington fingerling potatoes, bread from a local bakery, and Beecher’s cheese from Pike Place Market. Of course, in Washington we’re lucky to have such good local food available, like salmon and apples. The food was tasty and had me feeling content.

Candle, Photo by Grace PorterThe next morning, as I was getting ready for school in the flickering, dull light of a candle, I craved vegetables. I imagined living off of potatoes, bread, and cheese forever and became fearful of scurvy. I remembered the day before when I was in the grocery store: local squash was on display. This brought up a dilemma. It was fresh, it was a vegetable, and it was local, but it was also squash. I was distracted by Cougar Mountain oatmeal cookies and walked past it. Now, I would quite enjoy some warm butternut squash …

We’ll see how this pans out.

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


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