Sunday, March 21, 2010

No Impact

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.

click on picture to see a clearer view


The MOB said...

I saw that book at the store and thought it looked interesting. Have you read Barbara Kingsolver's - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? It is an entertaining read about her family's quest to eat totally local for a year. Even the little things count!!

Christina said...

I love you peanut!

I know how it is having a hubby that looks at you funny when you throw a fit because he threw your bio bag of compost into the regular trash {HELLO?! it's counter productive} and I know how hard it is to find balance. You are awesome just for being so passionate about it. T will catch on as much as he can!

Keep it up, I am inspired by you!

M.J. said...

Thumbs up to you. Being earth friendly does take extra effort. Remember that your baby steps are big steps to us, you role model, you! Just remember to keep your knitting away from open flames.

Gevan said...

Oh my dear Emmy - I just love your posts.
Reminds me of me and Michelle back in Ft Collins in the 70's. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!). It's like the recent commercial on TV about the "Save the Earth" t-shirts. Made me want one. But not a reproduction, of course, the original. But is finding one on eBay counterproductive? (Or counter E-friendly?). Michelle doesn't believe that my giant pile(s) of tree prunings are actually earth-friendly carbon sinks, whereas the neighbors BURNING thier piles (illegally, I might add..) is earth UN-friendly..
So stick to your guns, girl. Or maybe I better not use those two metaphors with you. Anyway, kudos to you. Nothing wrong with high aspirations.

E Herold said...

B - I have not read that book. I have seen it though and wanted to read it. I will now. I thought it was full of facts and those kinda bore me. :) Like the omnivores dilemma, it had everything I wanted to read but it was pretty boring so I couldn't get through.
To everyone else, thanks for the support.
I'll post on how Earth Hour went later!

The Momma said...

It's hard trying to live up to you, little one. You are being such a good steward of the earth and your body. After reading this last night I got up and turned off five lights (and you know how I love decorative lighting). Then today I turned down the heat when we left in the morning instead of letting it cycle off at the preset time and I rode to work with Pa. Funny, carpooling with him had never even occurred to me before. I felt like I was a kid again being dropped off at school (ha! I don't have to go to daycare first) with a kiss and my lunch & getting picked up at the end of the day with stories to tell on the ride home (which might doom future rides since you know how much Pa loves to listen to me chatter away - just as much as you love these long blog responses). Thanks for the education and the inspiration. Keep stretching my comfort zone.
Do give Rabbi some extra lovin' since the candle thing would be terrifying. Lubcha

CM said...

I will have to check out that book. It sounds very inspiring. I am also trying to be more aware of the impact of the choices I make and the little things I can do that make a cummulative difference. Thanks for giving me more to think about!