5.03.2010

Review: No Impact Man

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If you have not seen No Impact Man or read about the No Impact Project, I highly suggest you do!

Here's a question for you: "Do we have to be a disposable culture?" What can we do without? The No Impact Project was an experiment that gave one family a chance to first reduce their consumption and discover what they can do without for a year. After the experiment they could decide what they wanted to continue doing without and what they wanted to add back in. In his book, Colin Beavan points out that "we are wrecking our planet for lives we don't even necessarily enjoy!" By reducing our environmental impact, he believes we can live happier and better lives.

The Beavan family's extreme example of no impact has made a significant impact on many people to reconsider consumption, me included. While I doubt my family could live the no impact life, I'm inspired to consider what I can do without, and what I can reuse. I believe that small changes do make a difference.

If you would like some more information, Colin Beavan's blog is full of posts I find very helpful, such as: How we avoid making trash and No Impact Man's Top Ten Eco-Lifestyle Changes.
  
Since eating locally is something I'm starting to focus on more, these are a couple facts that spoke to me:
- The average piece of food travels 1,500 miles to get to you!
- Worldwide, meat consumption is responsible for more greenhouse gases than transportation!

What I really liked about the documentary:
- They weren't environmentalists beforehand so they learned along the way
- They start cloth diapering!!!
- They advocate eating local (I recommend checking out localharvest.org) and that you go to a farm and see the treatment of the animals before buying
- No toilet paper for a year (more power to them!)
- They lost weight from eating better, walking, and taking the stairs
- By going TV-less they grew closer as a family and became better parents
- Colin shows you how to make your own cleaners and do laundry in your bathtub!
- The message of community
- It's not about using as little as you can, it's about learning to get what you need in a sustainable way.

P.S. If you have Netflix, you can watch No Impact Man on instant queue! 

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