Just finished reading, “No Impact Man”, by Colin Beavan. Colin lives in New York City with his wife, young daughter, and the family dog. In November of 2006, Colin launched an experimental year of living off the grid in New York and attempting to have no impact on the environment. This included making no trash (no plastic bags, no packaging material, no takeout food, no Kleenex, no disposable cups, etc.), sustainable eating (organic, produced within 250 miles, home cooked, bought from bulk bins, etc.), no carbon producing transportation (not even public), and giving back to society (volunteering).
It is an interesting read with lot’s of information on how even little things like Kleenex impacts the planet. One of the main ideas explored is how we are on a treadmill of working more to buy more stuff that that we think will make us happy and not taking the time to find out what we really need to make us happy.
My little experimental year of trying to reduce my carbon footprint while birding doesn’t compare well with Colin’s year of no impact. He would not like the use of the MTA. But getting around a big city, where everything is close to you, might be easier then those of us who live out in the countryside. By the way, the per capita carbon emissions of people living in New York is 29 percent of the average American’s. It’s just that there’s so many of them.
A documentary film was produced during Colin’s year which adds a different dimension. You can actually see the looks on his wife’s face when he brings up a new idea to his plans.
Learning to live more simply is just what society will have to do if some of the predictions of climate change come true.