We think this is due for more discussion. New York being the kooky city that it is, of course it was only a matter of time before Colin Beavan (and family) had the bright idea to live like pioneers in an apartment on 5th avenue to see how much they could diminish their environmental impact on the earth - see NoImpactMan.com.
It is a bold experiment which cannot fail to capture your imagination (for better or for worse), and we suspect it will only get more interesting as the year wears on. We found ourselves reading his story by Penelope Green in the NYTimes yesterday as well as listening to him chat (for a long time) with Brian Lehrer last night. But before we go on, a survey:
(Before we get to the thoughtful part, we thought we'd take care of business by linking to the obligatory trash-talking post by Gawker that the article deserved (we mean that with love - it is New York, after all) as well as Colin's post today in which he makes a great effort to answer a whole lot of questions that came in.)
What impressed us most about all of this was the concept (very dear to our heart) that beyond focusing on all the restrictions, Colin and family were already discovering some really intense changes and JOYS. Most come from the removal of a tremendous amount of stimulation, the need to rely on their own human power and wits much more, as well as their closer contact with the community around them.
For example, both have experienced a jump in fitness from having to walk much, much, much more and quiet time at home with their daughter has really become quiet time. Despite the lack of choices, it doesn't seem that as if they have really lost any of the true value or gratification that comes from living and being a family.
Can this be true? Should we be surprised?
Yes and yes. It takes going cold turkey like these folks to prove how much of a "drug" typical daily life in NYC can be.
While Colin makes a point of stating that this experiment is not a prescriptive and not for everyone, pieces of it certainly are great for public consumption and the stories that he will be generating over the course of a year should be valuable as well. They already have.
So, as we shower even more exposure on Colin and his family, we do so with pleasure, because - like Morgan Spurlock in Supersize Me - we think he's a good writer and has a good point that we'd rather he prove than us right now.
We also think that this little New York Story will collide very well with our growing consciousness for environmentalism (Live Earth comes in July) and further prove when the TP runs out, you really no longer need to consider yourself stuck, and yell helplessly for more through the closed door to whoever might hear.
What do you think?