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No Impact Week: Prep

October 17, 2009

I decided last week I would participate in the No Impact Week Experiment. I’ll keep a record of my adventures here, instead of using Ning (which I don’t like).

So far my impression of the project is that in a few areas, I won’t have far to go—transportation, for instance, isn’t a big problem for me because I walk or take public transportation pretty much everywhere I go. On the other hand, my diet is still higher in meat than I’d like, and I still buy things new too often. I also use far too much electricity. So in many areas I can stand to improve, and I hope participating in this project will help me. It sounds fun, and it also sounds like if enough people do it (and over 2000 are participating in this round) the momentum will build and possibly tip a few more people into the radically-sustainable column.

Tomorrow is consumption day, and also the day we keep track of all our trash to assess how much we’re throwing away. Tonight, I made a list of all the things I think I “need” to buy this week—starring vinegar, baking soda, shaving cream, fabric and dowels (for a yet-to-be-disclosed project), energy bars, a gift for my uncle’s retirement party, and a few more trivial items. After some reflection, I’ve decided I don’t need any of it. I have a plant I can give my uncle, the project can wait (it may be rendered unnecessary anyway), I have been meaning to switch to shaving with soap anyway, and the vinegar and baking soda can wait a week, unless I have another drain slowdown.

Tomorrow is also the day when I’ll collect all the trash I produce for the day so I can figure out where I can cut back on my waste on Monday.

What I like about the No Impact Week project is that it’s entirely guilt free. No one’s making you feel bad about your impact. We’re all coming at this at different levels, and we all have the same goals—to have a better, more fun, more sexy, more enjoyable life that is less dependent on the destruction of the ecosystems that make our lives fun, sexy, and enjoyable. But because we’re all at different places, the No Impact Project doesn’t recommend one set of rules for everyone; it aims to allow you to make reductions where you can and in the ways that make sense for your life. If you’re interested in joining in, you can still sign up here!

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