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Saturday, December 25, 2010

No Impact Family

I am not sure why, but I just saw No Impact Man, the movie about the guy in NYC who went a year without making any environmental impact. This means he -- and his daughter and wife -- only ate locally sourced foods, did not use any fossil-fueled mode of transportation (subway, car, certainly not an airplane), went without electricity, and the perhaps the most reported on less-impact: did not use toilet paper.

My first takeaway was that I could not believe I had not seen the film yet--- or read his blog or book, or watched any of his dozens of interviews on Youtube. For those of you who have not yet seen it, please consider this a ringing endorsement, and watch it on Netflix.

My second takeaway was, "Wow... I am actually doing some of this stuff. Rock on!"

While I don't do nearly enough as No Impact Man, I already do some, and am now inspired to do more. So, what do I do alrea
dy that No Impact Man does?
  • Use Jars, not glasses. We drink out of jars instead of glasses

  • Buy local food. We try to buy locally sourced foods (a big part of this blog) and consider the farmers market the highlight of my week

  • Grow your own food. We are starting to garden and last summer harvested herbs

  • Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We try not to buy anything new--- in fact, we can usually outfit our home by finding stuff in free-boxes on the street

  • Carbon-friendly travel. We ride bikes around town or use DC's exceptional metros or buses. Seldom do we take taxis or drive a car.

  • Don't eat meat. Alex and I are both vegetarians. Meat is one of the greatest contributors to global warming, but I mainly oppose it for ethical reasons.

And what do I want to do?
  • Make our own cleaning supplies. Eco-friendly cleaners exist, and I use them (Mrs. Meyers, Method)... but what about the packaging, and shipping? No Impact Man makes his own household cleaning agents and stores them in his used cleaning bottles. As soon as mine run out, I will do the same!

  • Start to compost. I know I live in a city (and I know I live in a city with rats), but I want to at least explore the option of composting. No Impact Man composted in his apartment, and while he was okay living with flies, his wife was not. There has got to be a way for me to compost outside... Stay tuned!

  • Unsubscribing from catalogs. I try to do this, but not very hard. I call the consumer magazines, but not the non-profits I donate to. I need to of course continue to donate, but request that I be taken off their mailing lists.
There are more, of course, but I think this is a good start! I think the best takeaway from No Impact Man was that if he and his family can do everything to lessen their impact, can 't we all just do something?

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