Friday, February 11, 2011

No Impact?

No, this isn't about my impact on my family or on the kids at Montgomery Academy or the other people I come in contact with - I hope I have at least some positive impact on those people.

I watched THIS movie the other night. I'd heard about this a little a few years ago. Just vague references. And while I've been researching my book, I've read a couple books about people who were working to lesson their impact on the earth and to build more sustainable communities. I find it interesting, but they weren't what I was really focusing about when I was working on research, so I didn't do a LOT of reading about it. I know I didn't read this guy's book anyway and until a couple days ago, I hadn't ever visited his blog.

Anyway, the movie is a documentary of a man and his family who try to have as little impact on the earth for a year. They do it in stages, so it isn't like they went without power the first day. But they tried to create as little trash as possible. They only used reusable containers for EVERYTHING. They became locavores by only eating from the farmers' market and the bulk bins at the store so that all of their food was from less than 250 miles away. They washed their clothes in the tub and only used cleaning supplies that they made from vinegar, baking powder and borax. They only used bikes, scooters or public transportation. They used a cooler instead of a fridge. And they didn't use anything disposable, include toilet paper.

Now, first off, if I ever did this (and I'm not saying that I'm going to), I would definitely have to draw the line at toilet paper. LOL

But the movie was interesting on more than just the "less impact on the earth" way. It was interesting to see how others saw the family - were they doing this just to cash in on the minimalist/simple living craze? And I loved watching how the wife struggled and rationalized things during the years and got mad at her husband for being annoyed with her for not being able to do it as well as he did. And I loved how once they got rid of the TV, they played more games with their friends and read more to their daughter. By candlelight. And I also liked how the man said that if there is only ONE thing that you could do, he would recommend volunteering at a local environmental group.

Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed. With the things that I want to and all of the things that stand in the way of me doing that. Mostly with things that I'm trying to do with my version of Simple Living, but of course, I found myself thinking "Wow. Maybe I'll try and live like that for a few months. Oh, no. I can't because of the kids. And the daycare kids. And how would I get to dr. appointments, especially if I had to take any of the daycare children with me too? Get on the bus 2 hours before the appointment and then walk the 5 blocks from the stop? In the winter too?" and suddenly I was all discouraged again. I can't do it.

But you know what? I can at least volunteer once a month at the Ecology Center. And I can turn the lights off during the day. I can buy less things with packaging. I can eat even more locally. I can have LESS impact than I'm having now and that is a start.

I'm not giving up toilet paper though.


Mary said...

Less impact, that is definitely the place to start. I actually have read some blogs of people who use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. It might be a good idea to have some on hand in the case of an apocalypse or something...

BTW your link from Facebook was to a strange buddhist site. I thought that was the way you were going with your blog? Or the last site you visited?

Whacky Wheelers said...

I remember when I was in my teens and my Mom showed me a sanitary napkin from when she was younger. (Don't ask me why she saved it!) She told us how they had to boil it to clean it to use it again and again. It truly grossed me out and I think I hoarded sanitary napkins for a long time! LOL

I think we get so materialistic and forget the simple life . . . I truly love letting go of a lot of things, but I know there is more I need to improve upon. Thanks for sharing!