Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Global Warming: what can we do? -- Low(er) Impact Man

Beginning last summer while I was living in New York, I started to read the blog "No Impact Man," about a man who was striving to live in New York City with his wife and child while making No Impact upon the environment. His blog recounts his efforts to live his life differently, and he explores many of the challenges, hurdles, and pressures of this effort. I, for one, am convinced that we do need to change our behaviors, personal and corporate, in order to slow down our destruction of this Earth, "our island home."

After a year of living as "No Impact Man," he has now embraced a bit of "impact," but he explores today those behaviors that he has adopted, and many of them are ones that most of us can embrace, at least in moderation. Take a look at his post today, and take a look at other posts, he explores all the external and internal pressures of working to change his behavior, and even hears and responds to criticisms in the comments section of his blog.

He describes his motivation to begin the blog this way:

"A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nut, turns off his power, composts his poop, and while living in New York City, generally turns into a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging is baby daughter and Prada-wearing, four seasons-loving wife along for the ride."

Today's post is here:

Black_spot Some truths about my life without the gazillion rules:
  • I don't like making an impact but I like living in the dark less--the lights are on. All our bulbs are CFL. We buy wind power (and you can too). Nothing is plugged in when it isn't used. The fridge is on but the freezer isn't. The A/C is never coming back. So far no appliance but the vacuum.
  • I can't even look at a plastic cup. I still carry my jar everywhere. I don't even believe in filtered water anymore. I drink water straight from the tap. Municipal water should be clean and free. If rich people don't insist on this by drinking it, it won't be.
  • Baking soda cleans my hair and deodorizes my armpits. Olive oil and beeswax moisturize my skin. But I'm a sucker for toothpaste--not really, but I have areas of my teeth that supposedly need fluoride. I'd be perfectly happy brushing with a mixture of Dr Brommers and baking soda.
  • I ride the subway when it rains and once or twice when it was cold, but can't bring myself to get in a taxi. I love public transportation but I still love my bike more.
  • I'm still the weirdo with the cloth, who won't use a paper napkin and always asks the waiter to take it back. It's so trivial but I can't help myself.
  • I eat at restaurants cause it's fun and social but all our home shopping is done at the farmers' market. I can't bring myself to order takeout wrapped in plastic or paper.
  • I took an airplane to Minneapolis for Christmas. The train was going to cost $2700 and we couldn't swing it. I offset with Native Energy. I hate that I flew but I'm also not prepared to never see family again. I am prepared to be very sparing, compared with days of old, when it comes to air travel.
  • Hence, I am taking the train from NYC to Indianapolis and back to give a talk next week. Forty-four hours on the train for one hour's work. But I'm looking forward to it. I have a little compartment. I'll report.
  • I take short showers with a one gallon per minute shower head.
  • I bought two pairs of new shoes--not from shopping addiction but need--but they are made from hemp and reused tire rubber and union made. They're called Black Spot from Adbusters. See the picture? Cool, right?
  • I'm obsessed with turning off lights that aren't in use in whatever building I go in.
  • I'm a freak.
  • I'm beyond irrelevant.
  • Care to join me?
  • Help!
  • Michelle turns the radiators on but I turn them off when she isn't looking.
  • I know the air travel undoes everything.
  • I don't have the answers.
  • All the same, any questions?
by Colin Beavan at No Impact Man

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