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Since joining the Green Team, my awareness of how our actions impact the environment has greatly expanded. I decided to start the Niles Discovery Church community group on the Fremont Green Challenge website. We now have 17 households on our team.
The changes I have made are most evident in how I get ready in the morning for work. I love long hot showers. So choosing the action item of taking shorter showers was not immediately enticing.
After awhile, it became a game to me. How fast can I shower without feeling stressed or rushed?
Now while the water is warming up in the shower, I start washing my face, hands, and feet with the cold water since these parts of my body can withstand the cold temperature better than the rest of my body. To cut down on using plastic, I started using shampoo and conditioner bars. This also avoids the few seconds of opening, closing, and shaking up the plastic shampoo bottle. I turn off the water when lathering my hair depending on how cold it is in the morning. If too cold, I'll just turn down the force of the water but not completely off. No blow dryer for me. I have the fan on in my car on the way to work to air dry my hair. I have gotten my shower down to 5 minutes or less now! Also, I brush my teeth with chewpaste instead of using toothpaste from a plastic tube and I floss with silk floss that comes in a glass tube. All these items can be purchased on plastic-free websites like Etee or Ethique.
Conserving our natural resources like water and electricity and using less plastic waste did not come naturally for me. I was challenged by my Green Team and inspired by our church's commitment to caring for creation. Now I challenge you to join me and our church in participating in our own version of the Summer Olympic Games. The NDC Green Challenge will start today and span through the summer to the end of August. To kick off our Challenge, you will hear from Community Climate Solutions city program manager, Patrick Jurney, as he walks us through the website after today's church service. You will learn how you and your family can get involved in this fun Challenge. Each month will have a different theme. April and May will challenge us to just sign up on the website. June will be focused on transportation. July will be about electricity and heat. August will be about food and waste. Eco-friendly prizes will be awarded by drawing among those who participate in the theme month's action items.
Maybe an ultrashort shower is not for you. The great thing is that the Fremont Green Challenge website has something for everyone to try and you don't have to be a Fremont resident to participate.
Let the Games Begin!