This past week marks the last few days of Lent, the ever popular time period between March and April where Christians give up meat every Friday and one other additional item that they take for granted. This year, I decided to take on the challenge of giving up plastic water bottles. Why plastic water bottles you might ask? Well, I had started the semester with 4 cases of water, but by the second month of the semester I was down to 2 cases. I had realized my carbon footprint was pretty substantial and that this would be a great opportunity to change that.
So I gave up plastic water bottles. I told myself I would still drink sodas from vending machines as I couldn't really help the need to quench my thirst for soda, but as time went on I realized I wasn't buying from vending machines for soda, so I made that part of my lent as well.
Weeks went by and it kept getting easier to refill my aluminum bottle. I stopped huffing every time I realized I needed to go to the water fountain to get water. It became part of my daily routine to refill my bottle.
I was starting to realize how wasteful I was being by taking the easy way out.
The last week of lent I couldn't stop thinking about lent being over. Normally when I get to this point in the lent season I'm ready to be back to using what I had given up. I'm ready to have it back in my life because it's more convenient. Granted, being able to just crack open a bottle is more convenient, but refilling a titanium bottle isn't so inconvenient that it made a huge difference in my life.
In fact, it made me appreciate the amount of drinkable water available to me, even if it was from a sink.
So now that lent was officially over, I found myself staring at a cooler filled with chilled water bottles, wondering whether or not I would feel guilty after spending all this time shrinking my carbon footprint.
So I refused the bottle, I found myself a can of liquid and made that my drink of choice.
I plan on making my lent a lifestyle choice, because having the privilege of plastic water bottles doesn't mean you have to use it.