No Impact November

Go low impact this November by making alternative food and transport choices

Happy November, friends! Can’t believe we are already through part of the autumn, it feels like it has just begun.  With all the craziness in the world, it is easy to just see the days fly by and not know where the time has gone.  The good news is that we are blessed to start each day fresh and new and tackle those things that might have been too much to handle yesterday.

This November, like Novembers in the the past few years, I am trying to take a step back and look at my consumption habits and try to be more conscious about my intake and impact of goods and products.. its No Impact November!  Inspired by Colin Beaven’s book and documentary No Impact Man, which I blogged about a bit last November, I hope to take stock of the “things” and “stuff” in my life and eliminate what is unnecessary.  Beaven’s experiment was over the duration of one year with his wife and daughter out of their NYC apartment and they went so far as eliminating electricity, transportation and the actual waste accumulated by the year’s end could be contained in a shoebox top.  Why shouldn’t we be able to do this all the time?

Should you decide to join me in a self-aufit of your personal habits and work to change them, we cannot imagine that we can eliminate all the bad stuff in a few days or weeks and be done with it.  Here’s some suggestions for the process:

  1. Look at your present habits, decide what you’d like to focus on, i.e. food waste
  2. Set some goals, i.e. purchase food items within a 100-mile radius
  3. Recruit friends and family to join, make it a group challenge!
  4. Research other alternatives, i.e. local CSA, co-op, or community garden
  5. Reflect on the process and how the challenges went.. how will this affect the way you consume in the future?

Here are some ideas to get you started, try it for a week, 2 weeks, a month:

  • Food: buy in bulk, from food sources within 100 miles
  • Processed food: no processed products, i.e. chicken, coffee, cheese
  • Car: no car use for a week (get out those old rollerblades!)
  • Power: no power, no gadgets, no email
  • Waste: no trash created
  • Spending: no purchasing of new products, clothes, etc.

A challenge like this one has a funny way of bringing people closer together.  When the power goes out, what do we do?  Whine and complain, yes.  But we pull out the candles, the board games and have a grand time.  We don’t need to live in a stone age, but we need to start living within our means and consider our impact beyond our own towns, states and countries.  Would you give up water for a month?  Not just bottled water, not just tap water, but any source of water for bathing, cooking and drinking for a month.  Millions around the world don’t have water security.. what right do we have to waste?  What will you do to decrease your impact on the environment and increase your impact on people?

I hope to cook more, with less.  I hope to drive less, walk more.  I hope to power down and cheer up. This world is all we have.. what will you do with it?

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