No Impact Week, Again

No Impact Week, Again

Amber Byfield
Nov 16, 2009

It's not too late to participate in another No Impact Week, inspired by Colin Beaven, the No Impact Man. We pointed it out last month but didn't hear much back from readers, so either the idea for participating in a no-impact lifestyle for a week just hasn't caught steam, or it's a little daunting. What's your holdup? We'll start with our reasons for holding back.

SimpleSteps.org is putting on another No Impact Week, and here's how they describe it:

Starting Sunday, November 15th, 2009, this one-week "carbon cleanse", developed as a truncated version of Colin Beavan's, the original No Impact Man's, year-long experiment, is a chance for you to see what a difference no-impact living can have on your quality of life. It's not about giving up creature comforts but an opportunity for you to test whether the modern "conveniences" you take for granted are actually making you happier or just eating away at your time and money.

We signed up to see how much of the week we could accomplish. We took a look at the How-To Guide (it's like a lifestyle version of the Green Cure!) and here are a few of the things we are daunted by:

1. Finding different transportation. Our current situation leaves us without a good public transport option, but maybe we could find a couple of colleagues who live in the same neighborhood, or work from home.
2. Not creating any trash. At the office, it's easy to turn to paper napkins, but this week maybe we can pack our own towels.
3. Eating only local foods. We actually eat very locally, but not everything in the cupboards has a small carbon footprint (we do love chocolate). We'll give ourselves a couple of extra points for picking our own veggies from the garden, but dock ourselves for the few guilty pleasures (organic apples were on sale!).
4. Unplugging. It gets dark so early, and our apartment doesn't get much natural light anyway, so cooking by candlelight or powering off the fridge? Probably not going to happen. But we aren't using the A/C or fans right now, and we don't have a TV, so we're already scaling back on energy usage.

What's funny is that when we started the list above, we thought it'd sound a lot more difficult. But really, with all the small steps we've already taken... No Impact Week might be a breeze. The How-To Guide helps to put things into perspective, showcasing small ways that you can make big changes.

We are in the process of becoming vegetarian for environmental and health reasons; what's the big deal about making those same kind of changes in the rest of our lifestyle?

When you break it down into small pieces, it's not so radical after all. So, now tell us what's stopping you.

Related posts:
It's No Impact Week: Are You Participating?
'No Impact Man' Colin Beavan and Michelle Conlin
No Impact Man Gives an Update

(Image: Amber Byfield for Re-Nest.)

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