Some Habits are Easy to Change…..

amandaA month ago I wrote about being inspired by a kid who encouraged his family, friends, and Boy Scout troop to make changes with bottled water.As a result I decided to make the same change and limit my bottled water consumption.(Breaking Old Habits, August 17 post)My husband and I realized that we were spending money on bottled water when we didn’t need to and we really had no compelling reason for using the bottled water besides convenience. I also felt like it was an unnecessary waste of bottles even though I recycled them.

So the bottled water is gone….and it really wasn’t that hard to make the change.Sure every once in awhile when I am at the store I start to turn down the aisle where the bottled water is and then I remember….I don’t buy bottled water anymore and move down to a different aisle.Now in the mornings I fill up a reusable bottle with cold water from our filtered water pitcher to take to work.Here’s the funny thing – we already had the cold filtered water in our fridge for drinking at home…..all we have to do now is pour that water into a container…and here’s the added bonus that I hadn’t thought of until the other day – we don’t pay for water at our apartment building!I was paying to have convenience in a bottle when I didn’t need to!

So three weeks into our habit change…here’s what is different for my family:

  • Money saved that we used to spend on water.
  • No heavy bottled water to carry up the stairs when we get home from the store.
  • Less recyclables to carry out to the recycle bin at our apartment building = less waste.
  • More kitchen space where we used to store the bottles that didn’t fit in the fridge.
  • More space in the fridge…so an unexpected bonus is that I can see what we have in the fridge better.

Some of these things may seem trivial and you may wonder if these are changes that really make a difference.But here’s the thing…the changes work for my family.By asking my husband to work with me to not buying bottled water, to fill up a reusable bottle, and to stay committed to this change – we did something that we feel good about…and we feel like we are benefitting.

About the author: Amanda Sweda works in EPA’s Office of Environmental Information on web related policies and serves on the Environmental Education Web Workgroup. Amanda is a former Social Studies and Deaf Education teacher and her husband is a 3rd grade teacher so education is an important topic in their home.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.