June 22, 2011
I wanted to share with you my excitement for my new summer read that is not only entertaining but honestly life changing. The book is called "No Impact Man-The adventures of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process" by Colin Beavan.
The book is about Beavan's project to live a year with no environmental impact. He goes through the year in stages by eliminating waste, motorized transportation, non-seasonal or local food, and electricity. Oh and I forgot to mention that he lives in the middle of NYC! To most of us in the western world, a project like this seems impossible and not very attractive, however, the things Beavan learns about himself, his family, and our culture, surprisingly or not so surprisingly, bring a sort of happiness that can not even size up to receiving this years newest gadgets.
There is an irreplaceable happiness that comes from spending time with family and friends, exercising, eating well, and knowing that you are helping the world around you. This book explains the hardships that Beavan and his family have to work through and he admits that it isn't always easy, but the intimacy that he finds with his family and new people he meets seems to make the project well worth it.
During the project Beavan started his blog. Here, you can look through the archives to see the challenges he and his family faced and how the project has impacted his life in the long run. There's also tips of little things you can do to decrease your environmental impact and even links for educators for an Environmental Education program!
There are also links on the website to try the experiment yourself for just one week! I know our lives are busy and we live for the conveniences such as bottled water, imported food, and of course how would we life without electricity?! However, I think it would be more than worth it to give up one week of our entire lives to try to live impact free. You can view the short, inspiring video clip here.
Truly just reading the book has given me a different perspective on how much we use and waste in a day. I take a second to think about how many times I throw something in the trash can or flip the switch to turn a light on. I hope you'll take a look at the blog, read the book, or watch the movie. I think it's a great perspective for everyone to be aware of, especially in our wasteful society. I hope it changes your outlook like it did mine and might inspire you to try it for a week on your own! Let us know!