MYM Enviro Challenge

That’s week one of the MYM Enviro Challenge, can you believe it?

I hope you had enough time this week to get involved in some of the challenges. But, if you were busy studying for exams or were just busy watching Netflix all week don’t be concerned! Here’s what you missed on this weeks episode of the #MYMenvirochallenge.

Day 1 called for us to identify one environmental habit and to think about how we could start to change it.

Brother Justin led the way, sharing his commitment to use a renewable drink bottle over disposable plastic ones. It turns out the Mt Druitt brothers were setting the example, with Brother Michael sharing with us some photos of their compost bin and later in the week, their vegetable garden.

Br Justin didn't open concept333, go S'well! 

Br Justin didn't open concept333, go S'well! 

They weren’t the only one’s getting green thumbs. Cameron also got busy in his garden where he grows (deep breath in) ‘baby spinach, shallots, tomatoes, beetroot, parsley, basil, coriander, celery, rocket, lettuce’ and as he says ‘some strangely shaped strawberries.’ Wow. Now that’s a garden!

Cameron when reflecting on the week said the challenge encouraged him to ask his Dad about what they grow in the garden at his house. He got to learn a bit about gardening too. He also noticed how much paper he’d been using throughout the semester for uni. This is probably something we can all relate to! Lucy was also studying hard for her own university assessments, but she managed her coffee addiction in the most sustainable way possible – by using a reusable coffee cup!

Cameron's veggies

Cameron's veggies

And newsflash: The McDonald brothers are going vegetarian one day a week. By #McBros, I’m referring to Joe and Dom. Gasp. We even got to see a great video of the boys dinner from this week. Will they survive on diets of decreased iron? Will they relapse!? Only time will tell, watch this space. Dom also said he took public transport with Nehme this week.

The boys weren’t the only ones who got onto the train instead of using fuel. Marita also traded in her car keys for her opal card and joined in the transport revolution.

Everyone hit the books, or at least a semi-reliable search engine. The facts pouring into the Facebook page were mind blowing. Patrick told us ‘The world lost about 16 percent of all coral reefs in 1998, the second hottest year on record, and the world's hottest years on record have surpassed themselves 3 times in the last 18 years - 1998, 2005, 2010, and 2014. I think this makes it pretty obvious something needs to be done - it's only heating up faster and faster.’

And at the same time, Andrew told us ‘recycling just one plastic drink bottle you can save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes!’ That’s one I can probably ponder on as I sit here typing away on my laptop.

So now, we know a little more about our world, but are we taking the time to appreciate it? The following days called us to stop what we were doing and notice our surroundings.

Hien from Queensland got in on the action, sending us a photo from outside his volunteering work, taking the time to appreciate the sun and greenery. Meanwhile, Jess got busy observing the world around her and even managed in her enviro whip around to find a sidewalk advertisement for the people’s climate march!

Jess said,

“I think what really stood out for me was just taking notice of every day actions and surroundings. By being more aware it has definitely built those foundations to now look at how I can change those habits and contribute to this cause.”
Jess taking in her surroundings and surprise! 

Jess taking in her surroundings and surprise! 

Changing habits can be hard. I found that out this week! I decided one habit I should work on is my showering time. I’m that person in my family that is blamed for dams drying up and all those other lame jokes. At first I thought it would be easy to take two minute showers but as the week went on, it became a struggle.

We were also challenged to focus on the relationships around us, so I turned to my Dad, who started taking cold showers years ago. Yes, I just said cold, it wasn’t a typo.  It sounds completely mental, but he thinks that by having cold showers, it makes him keep his showing time really short and more aware of how much water he’s using.

While our conversation made me feel physically cold, it definitely got me thinking about how sometimes you do have to sacrifice things if you want to be able to make a difference. While I have no intention of giving myself hypothermia on a daily basis, I think I might need to find a timer of some sort for those times I do turn on the taps!

I hope you all had fun with the first week of the #MYMenvirochallenge. If you didn’t get a chance to get in on the action, today marks a whole new week of sustainable fun and action. Just check the calendar and share your experiences using the hashtag. I can’t wait to see where this week takes you! 

Author: Francine Crimmins