Comments from some Lifestyle Project Journals

The following comments are from students in a class at Malaspina University-College during the autumn term of 2004.  

I realize now that I can take shorter showers, and that it really isn’t as big a thing to give up as I first thought that it would be.
I guess my mom has been doing this project as well because she made a veggie stir-fry. She told me she has been doing some of the same things that I have been doing. She has been hanging out her clothes, turning off lights that don’t need to be used and cutting out some meat. I thought that was pretty cool that she’s doing that.
It became evident to me that with just a small change each, if all of Canada were to modify their lifestyles, even in one area, there would be no water shortages, or massive landfills, and manufacturers would be forced to rethink their packaging.  It gives me hope to see what a difference a small change can make.
This lifestyle project has made me aware of the many different changes you can make to save electricity. There needs to be more information made available to people so they know how simple it is to make those changes.
After all, it isn’t as if there’s a black cloud of smoke or a pile of garbage trailing after me for the entire world to see.  I can’t see the repercussions of my actions, and, therefore, it is easy to ignore the negative consequences my lifestyle is creating.
There needs to be some awareness program set in place for people to learn about what an impact they can have if they just change some of their daily activities.
I am so much more aware now than I have ever been.  The thought to conserve comes so naturally now. 
I wonder at neighbourhoods that prohibit the use of wash lines for aesthetic purposes.  A clothes dryer is so energy consuming that it seems a small price to pay to have to see your neighbour’s underwear out on the line once per week.
I am sure that people living in second or third world desert climates would be shocked with the amount of time I spend standing under the showerhead.
I am now used to all the free time in the mornings that I save from not doing my hair, this I thought I could never change! 
I really like walking home.  I feel better after I do it.
The biggest thing that I take away with me, is that it is all little steps, and when all of the little steps are added up, the overall effects can be staggering. I look forward to doing a project similar to this but on a smaller scale with my students when I become a teacher!
I decided to do a small test to see how much water I was wasting when I left the tap running. I plugged my sink and begun to wash my face and brush my teeth with the tap going. After I was finished, I was astonished with the amount of water that was left in the sink. I did not realize how much water I had previously wasted when I left the tap running.
Overall, this project has opened my eyes to the variety of food that is available to me that is beneficial to the environment, as well as the amount of energy I consume on a daily basis.  It has made my lifestyle one that I can be proud of.

The more I do this project the more I see that even though this is good for the environment, it is also good for saving a lot of money. If people knew how much money they would save by cutting down electricity, water, and buying less packaged foods they would probably put more effort into it.

Our compost bucket has been filling up fairly fast and it’s amazing how much space we save in the garbage can  ...  Our garbage seems to be reducing more and more each week. We used to fill up two bags a week and now its half way through the week and it’s just half full.
I have so much.  I am blessed to have all that I have and blessed to live in this place, where things such as water and heat are abundant.  However, it is so important to realize that the majority of the people on the earth do not have these things.  Some are desperate for clean drinking water, yet I have so much that I have to think about not wasting it.
I did not do laundry today. I haven’t done laundry in quite some time.  I can’t really remember the last time I did it.  Oh well, I seem to still have enough clothes to wear.
Everyday that I do this project I find something new, even if it is small, to change in my household. If I keep changing these small things and everyone in the world did, it would probably save a lot of energy.
I really dislike having short showers.
It was fun, trying, eye-opening and an experience that I will take with me for many, many years and incorporate into my teaching in the future.
Usually the lights are on or the lamps in their rooms, but tonight I used a flashlight to read them their stories, which they just loved. We went under the blanket and read stories
It was fun, trying, eye-opening and an experience that I will take with me for many, many years and incorporate into my teaching in the future.
My Gramma has been a big supporter of this project.  She doesn’t really like meat so she has been eating meals with me.
Went to Tim Horton’s and ordered my usual coffee.  I told them I had my own cup.  But you wouldn’t believe it!  I gave my cup to the girls, but she filled one of their own paper cups, and then dumped the coffee in my mug!  I thought maybe she would use it again, but she threw it in the garbage!  I had to say something.  I said to the girl, “Isn’t this why people give you travel mugs, so that we can reduce the amount of waste?”  I didn’t get a very pleasant smile back, but hopefully she will think about it next time she does it.
She asked me to explain the whole project to her and wanted to know what the purpose to it was.  She had no idea about the amount of energy we as North Americans use – and waste.  This was about the first interest anyone in my family has shown.
Today’s events were not the best. It was really difficult to recycle and conserve when time was against me. I think it can be easy to fall back into old habits and whatever is the most convenient. I am hoping tomorrow will be a better day
I guess I never really do need to wash it every day – saves on water, electricity, shampoo, conditioner, and styling products – not to mention time under the shower and blow-drying and styling. Truly amazing!
This has been a great way of learning about our environment as well as making a difference for the future. I never thought of myself to be wasteful, but compared to today I certainly was.
I decided to create an incentive program for my son who wants a new mountain bike.  Whatever we're able to save with respect to the three areas, more specifically electricity and water, I will put towards his new bike...should be interesting!
I think this small project has brought about life-long learning for the entire family.  There is no doubt that it also has instilled some very positive lifestyle habits.  I found myself changing my thinking before doing activities that involved energy consumption.
I have come to realize how much water is needed for just washing hair. I am just glad my hair is not too long.


Everyone seems happy to see how united we are in trying to "save the environment" – personally I think when I say "save money" they appear more willing – either way it benefits us!
This project has profoundly affected my outlook on the environment.  I will be sure to continue with these new adaptations in my new lifestyle and carry on this rewarding experience.  I thank you for inviting this new challenge within your classroom.  It has been a “fun”, “meaningful”, and “extremely rewarding experience”. 
Today I was so excited since all of my roommates decided to walk to school with me. I felt respected since they know how hard I have been working towards my energy saving goals. Having them walk with me made the time fly by and before we knew it we were at school.

I think the most important thing that I can do is to constantly be aware of what I am doing and the choices I am making.

It would certainly be easy to lapse into the easier route, and this project has sure built awareness of all we take for granted in our country! Everything quick and our fingertips. 
As well I have gotten used to taking shorter showers, which might I add is a great victory.
I have come to the end of my lifestyle project and I am amazed how fast it has gone. I never would have thought that this one small assignment would have such a large impact on both myself and the people around me. I have been able to influence my landlord, family, friends and most importantly myself.
I would recommend doing this project in my own classes no matter what the age with just a simple modification of how much the children change their lives or maybe with the focus being on the classroom alone.
I only flushed when it was needed today.  My brother still doesn’t think much of this and flushed the toilet every once in a while just because he thinks its gross.  He’s not helping my project!!! 
I know I keep saying that we all take our resources for granted, but I was watching the news the other day and saw how many people were in need of food and water. It did not matter what kind. What did matter was that these people needed these substances that people over here have easy access to. I guess my concluding thoughts were how so many people around the world do not have access to clean water and good food, while other countries are over-using these items and are trying to limit their consumption. Would it not be so nice if everything was just spread around, and everyone had an equal chance to healthy living conditions?
The exciting aspect of this project is that our attitude has changed dramatically, and this has lead to a life long project.    
I never realized how much waste is created by the modern conveniences of which I had taken for granted.
I watched the meter working; it was quite interesting.  My husband asked me to watch it with the dryer on.  I could not believe how much quicker the meter worked.  The speed was doubled. 


Again, it is interesting how many things people in this country take for granted. For example, there are many countries in the world who have to scrounge for fresh water, but over here people use as much water as they want without thinking of the environmental consequences.
Walking to school cut out the stress of having to find a parking space. I have decided that it probably takes the same amount of time to drive since it takes so long to find a space to park!!”
Generally, creating and organizing time to accommodate the project has been the biggest hurdle thus far.
Today I showed my children how the hydro meter “speeds up” with the use of the oven, stereo, computer, lights and TV. They were amazed at the differences when nothing was operating verses when everything is on.”
I was starting to feel that my little changes were not making enough of a difference but then this week in the tutorial when we were adding up all the energy that we use and I compared my total to others, I began to realize that all those little things are adding up!”
I think that in Canada we should just have toilets like they do in Australia.  There they have two buttons to flush the toilet.  One flushes the toilet fully and the other one is just a half flush.  I thought that was a fantastic idea
I’m really enjoying this challenge.  I look forward to my “lifestyle” days.  It pushes me away from what I’m used to
I am learning that there are many simple options and alternatives that people can take to help make the world a more energy friendly place


First day in my life that I purposely did not eat meat. When I started this project, I believed that this would be the hardest task and I was right. Similar to when I am on a diet, whatever I am not allowed to eat is what I crave for the entire day.
My son was a gem and the energy and water saving hero/police of the day, as he is taking this project to heart (which is a great thing because he certainly makes his contribution to our household energy waste). He was constantly behind me making sure that all unnecessary electrical items are turned off. The most heart warming aspect of this plan today was that my son has slept with a night light and or the bathroom light on most of his life, and for this project he has given those up to do his part in conserving electricity.
As I chose my topics and began to track them in my house, I began to see just how wasteful and harmful my lifestyle is
As a family, we are all doing are part to reduce and conserve. This pleases me immensely, especially that my family would work so diligently to ensure that I (we) stick to the plan. In addition, it also makes them feel like they too are doing their part for our environment.
I am still having fun doing this project, and it is not obtrusive on my life at all, it is just really a matter of thinking and using common sense. Lets see if I still feel that way next week when I add one more day to the project.