Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Impact Man

This weekend I watched this amazing documentary called No Impact Man.  It was fabulous.  It follows Colin Beavan, his wife, and daughter as they try to live without creating any negative impact on the earth for an entire year.  It certainly shows the extremes of making no impact on the environment (no fridge, toilet paper, electricity), but I found it incredibly inspiring.  As the year passes the family draws closer together and finds satisfaction in a more simplistic way of life.  I also found it to be a good kick in the butt.  No matter how "green" I think I am, I can always find way to improve and lower my waste.  A few ideas came to mind:

*Try to lower my use of Kleenex by using a handkerchief.  My family of Amish decent always does this, so not only am I saving trees I'm also embracing my heritage.
*Try to minimize the amount of packaging I bring into our home and find creative uses for the packaging that cannot be avoided.  Beavan makes that point that even if we recycle out plastics, we recycle down, i.e., down in the quality, until our plastic becomes toxic.  I'd never thought about that.
*Actually program our programmable thermostat, with a lower temp at night while we sleep.
* Start a compost bin.  We plan on having a garden next year, so a compost heap would be incredibly helpful.  Additionally my Gram composts, so again, embracing my familial traditions.
* Increase the amount I walk, even as the weather gets colder.  This is a big one for me.  I'm quite good about walking everywhere in the summer, but as the fall approaches I give up and hop in the car.  I've never really made an effort to bundle up & still walk.  I'd like to try.  
* Use up what I have on hand, instead of purchasing new products.
*Repair and mend things we already have, instead of replacing items that have a defect.
* Try to eat more local and organic foods.
* Keep reading and researching more ways to cut my impact.

These are just a few of the things I thought about while watching the film.  What are ways that you can improve your impact?

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