Sunday, September 23, 2007

Journal Summary: Progress on Social Goals

When I started thinking about what goals I should set for myself, I decided that they should be more social than "environmental" or "green." As an environmental activist and an environmental science major, I've led a lifestyle that prevents negative impacts whenever possible. I wouldn't say that I do everything right, but I am very aware of the impacts I can have and am very attentive to making sure I prevent those impacts. Where I thought I needed improvement was in the social dimensions of sustainable living, especially because they are really important for bringing people into the movement.

My goals were the following:

1) To turn off the lights that my peers leave on sometimes in the house in which I live.
2) To use less water during my showers (going down from about 10 mins per shower to 5-8 mins per shower).
3) To engage in more social activities, especially community and sharing events on- and off-campus.

As for my first two goals, I'd say I've progressed well. Now that my housemates know me better, they tend to not leave the lights on anymore since they know about my concern for energy use. As for showers, I sometimes take less time but sometimes I feel so in need of warm water that I just go for 10-15 minutes. It depends on how I feel.

As for my social goal, I've tried my best to get involved in community activities. I've gone to different potlucks with different groups, have attended meetings with groups not related to sustainability, and have tried to my best to associate with people from all backgrounds. I really think this has been a great experience so far and it will continue to build up. I've connected to so many people locally in the past few weeks, and I certainly hope to connect with more people. I've learned how important it is to hear what people think about different issues, to speak openly to people about things, and to share with them positive messages that resonate well with them. If there's anything that will allow us to truly become the doers of sustainability, it will be knowing how to associate with people regarldless of who they are and working with them on issues that are important to them.

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