No Impact Experiment

Do you worry about your environmental impact?

As an exercise in awareness and a check-in with his own values, Colin Beavan (the No Impact Man) attempted to have no environmental impact for a full year—and he dragged his somewhat reluctant wife and daughter along for a year of no impact. If you have seen the No Impact Man film or read the No Impact Man book, you can see a lot of the choices that this family of a young child made to accommodate their daughter (how to keep milk cold for a toddler without a refrigerator?) and to lower some of the impacts a child has on the environment (switch to cloth diapers , of course).

Despite the firmness of the title, it becomes apparent through the project that Colin is a self-deprecating guy who appreciates the irony of his quest. His experiment isn’t about perfection by about making changes in his life to determine what makes the difference. Isolated changes are drops in the bucket—not bad at all but not enough. In the end, he asks that those moved by the experiment become active in their own communities to be catalysts for bigger change.

That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t become aware of your own impact as an individual or your family’s impact as a whole.


No Impact Week

Starting October 18th (tomorrow), the No Impact Project, a nonprofit that grew out of No Impact Man, guides thousands of average people through their own no impact experiments, though a one-week carbon cleanse. With a push and a nudge from the Huffington Post to reach out to a broader audience, there will be a lot of discussion of impact in the coming week. Each day will focus on a different topic.

  • Sunday – Consumption
  • Monday – Trash
  • Tuesday – Transportation
  • Wednesday – Food
  • Thursday – Energy
  • Friday – Water
  • Saturday – Giving Back
  • Sunday – Rest from it all

Colin and Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com, will be having live video conversations about the experiment every night in the coming week.

If you join the No Impact Experiment, tell us. Tell everyone! Make sure your own efforts to lower impact have a ripple effect.

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