Sunday, May 20, 2012

No Impact Project

Stepping away from the video camera, Vogue Magazine and my scissors, I want to let you know about an experiment I will be participating in in two weeks time.  It is called the No Impact Project.  It is the current incarnation of a project that began as an experiment of one man and his family - a guy named Colin Beavan, his wife and daughter - in New York City.  He decided to try to live in a way that made no environmental impact for a year.  I first read about him in an article in the New York Times and I followed the blog he kept (he still keeps it up now and then) while he began to transform his life.  The project turned into a book and then a movie and it continues to impact others (haha) as he takes what he learned and encourages groups and individuals to try their own experiments in reducing their footprint on this earth.  

His website will walk you through the process so you aren't left wondering where to begin.  It is fun to do with others in a group, so gather your buddies and consider taking up the challenge. 

As it turns out, we are already doing a lot of things that he recommends.  We (mostly) use public transportation, we don't have a clothes dryer, and I make a lot of our food from scratch.  Frankly, I rarely buy anything besides food, wool and books.  In fact, I vow to only buy things that have two consecutive O's in their name from now on.  They have served me so well so far.

My main goals for the week will be eliminate those food items that I have slipped into buying ready-made and to forego electric lights in the evening.  We once spent most of a month in a non-electric house in Newfoundland.  This house had propane lamps that were wonderful, although not quite enough light to read by in the evening.  We quickly became tuned into the rising and setting of the sun.  One night, we went to a bed and breakfast and we were thrilled to flick a switch to turn on lights...for a moment.  Once the lights went on, we realized that a true sacrifice had been made when we went over to the convenience of electric lights.  The quality of light was so crass compared to the gas lamps!  I am looking forward to our dim, quiet evenings.

Meanwhile, I am off to sesshin.  Oh yes, two in a row.  See you next week for some low impact blogging.

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