Last month I read, No Impact Man, by Colin Beavan. It is about a guy in New York who convinces his wife (and two year old daughter) that they should all try living environmentally friendly for a year. But like, I don't mean just taking little E-friendly steps, I mean that they are Earth's BFF times 100. They were going to live carbon-free, I mean free like free samples!
They start out by not making trash, then they move to transportation but they don't even take the bus because that leaves a carbon footprint so they scooter, walk, or bike it to work (not to mention they live in an apartment on the 9th floor and they don't take the elevator), then they eat ONLY local food (that means even flour has to be grown and milled within 250 miles of their home), then they don't buy anything new, then they turn all off electricity (which they realized they missed the washing machine most). They also used little water but they did still use it. After they changed all their lifestyle habits and formed new ones, it wasn't so bad apparently. The Beaven family also began to give back to the Earth by joining volunteer opportunities to plant trees, plan green space, etc. It all sounds like my dream. However, I am too chicken to try. No fridge? Only local food? Man. I REALLY want to try baby steps though. I thought I was very E- friendly but this guy blew my freaking mind with the shit he did. I have a huge crush on him.
So, it made me think, I can't NOT do anything. But...I do want to live with a fridge. So, how can I change my habits with things I really don't need yet still continuing to use the things that I want to, like the fridge? I don't need light all the time (candles work), I don't need a dryer all the time (wind works), etc. Another problem I am having though is T, my beloved, would be hard the change. I don't think he wants to really. I said we were going to eat local for a week and he said we couldn't because it was winter. I wanted to try though...I didn't. Instead, for my baby step, I started using candlelight to read at night. Its great. T is even jealous and wants a candle. I hope to start using it in other rooms of the house. It is kinda cool, I think.
I do still plan on having a local week. I am the chef so I can do it. I subscribe to a blog that only cooks local things in Seattle so I am SURE I could get some great ideas.
Another way I am going to force T into my plan is to "celebrate" Earth Hour this weekend instead of next (because we may have company next weekend and I don't want to look like a total dweeb. You know, being E-friendly is nerdy.) So tonight from 8:30 - 9:30 we aren't using any electricity. I haven't decided if I will trip the breaker or not. Probably not because then we would have to reset all our clocks. (See so many excuses) We'll see how it goes. I plan on reading or yogaing or knitting (oh my gosh, I need to finishing my knitting project!). It will be a great opportunity to do those things when usually on Sundays I am watching a movie. I am looking forward to it.
Maybe some day I will to do this challenge as an experiment and for the experience. Colin Beaven created it and if I ever get brave, I will do it.
You may be wondering why I care so much. Why do I want to make the world a better place to live? The answer involves two reasons: cancer and the world dying slowly. I am convinced the cancer rate would be lower if we didn't have as many pollutants around AND if people weren't eating shit with pesticides and other unnatural chemicals. Cancer down right scares me. And although I don't believe it will happen in my lifetime, I don't want other people dying just because the Earth is too hot or there are too many floods. That would just be awful.
So hopefully people can change their habits, even a little bit for now. But I do believe that if we want generations to live happy and healthy and not evolving into green lizard things that can stand the heat or swim in water, we have HAVE to change. Even if we want to be healthier now, we should change.