I just watched No Impact Man: The Documentary, which is the story of a family living in NYC trying to live without making an environmental impact for a year.
It made me think, a lot.
I’ve recently gone back to school to study environmental science, and the last few weeks I’ve felt a bit lost, not sure what I’m going to do once I finish school.
Part of me wants to save the world, but I’m not so concerned about saving the people. The people are who the world needs saving from.
There are some excellent points brought up in the documentary, for example:
- People should be aware of where there food is coming from, how it is produced, and the impact of its production on the environment. Local Harvest is a site I’ve used for finding foods local to me. It’s also good to know what produce is in season local to you, the National Resource Defense Council has a nice site for that to help you keep track of what is in season.
- Consumerism feeds pollution. Reduce what you buy, and don’t buy what you do not really need. If you really need something, see if you can get it used or second hand. Craigslist has a free section, and The Freecycle Network helps people give away and get items for free. I’m sure there are plenty more sites and organizations, these are the two I know of.
- There are environmentally friendly ways to satisfy your needs, and usually are not very difficult. You can make a lot of your own cleaning products and personal hygiene products, which are not only better for the environment, but also better for you.
- Unplugging from a consumption based life will usually improve your quality of life. Eating natural foods will generally improve your health. Throwing out the TV will help you connect with people around you.
Honestly I think the concept of trying to leave a year without making waste is fairly ridiculous. It is imposible not to create any waste, our collective goal should be to create as little waste as possible, so our environment is not degraded. The environment is able to filter and process waste & pollution, but we cannot overwhelm it. The population has grown exponentially in the past 100 years, and if everyone created waste and used energy at the rate us Americans do, we’ll be doomed in no time flat. Food for thought.