Let the No Impact Challenge begin…

April 1, 2011 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment

by Liz Derby

So you may be wondering, what is the No Impact Challenge? and how did it come about?

Lets start from the very beginning. Last year, Northwestern student Liz Miller wrote a policy for the Roosevelt Institute focused on reducing the use of plastic bags through a bag tax.  Meanwhile, ECO (Environmental Campus Outreach), another NU student group was working on a similar project to reduce the use of plastic bags. Collaboration between the two groups lead forming the BaglessNU Campaign at the end of Fall quarter.

While BaglessNU tends to focus specifically on eliminating the use of plastic bags, we realized, as a group, that we should also cut down on the use of any item that we use just once and then throw away.  We wondered: what would happen if we skipped the paper cups at Norbucks and dined in the restaurant rather than getting take-out? What if we counted every one-time-use items up at the end of everyday to see what sort of environmental impact we were making? Thus, we decided to start this challenge.

1 month. 12 players. Countless ways to cut back.

Today is the first day of our challenge. So far, I’ve had a cup of coffee at home instead of at a coffee shop and used a cloth towel rather than a paper towel. Needless to say, I haven’t been awake for too many hours to have made any other substitutions, but, not to worry, we’ll keep you updated. Each day one (or more) of the 12 players will blog about their experience with the challenge: when its been hard to stick to their goals, when its been easier than expected, and everything else in between.

To the rest of the players, good luck! To other readers, I encourage you to join us — challenge yourself to decrease your impact. Tell us about your stories by tweeting @BaglessNU and using #NoImpactNU!

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Tracking the Challenge

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