As a side note I wouldn't recommend watching with children as they drop the "F" bomb several times.
The movie follows Colin Beavan, his wife Michelle, and their 2 year old daughter Isabella as they spend 1 year (living in New York City) attempting to make no impact on the Earth.
For this they give up, in stages mind you (they didn't go completely cold turkey):
- buying anything new
- all forms of transportation that doesn't involve human power to get you there (i.e. walking, biking, etc)
- toilet paper
- food packaging
- creating trash
- air conditioning
I myself would have had to draw the line at toilet paper...that would have to be my luxury item if I were to do such a project.
They made sure that they ate food grown within 250 miles of their home, which meant giving up on Starbucks but eating more from the local farmer's market.
Overall I thought the film was a little extreme, but I think his point was to see what things they could live without if they tried and giving everything up all at once gave them a clean slate to start from.
In the end I think they found they enjoyed family time more and eating local foods. It made them feel more connected to their city and more conscientious of their consumption.
I had my husband watch this with me because I thought this would appeal to him, and did it ever.
We've decided to make an action plan and see what we could do to make less of an impact.
- Make our own shampoo. This "recipe" calls for essential oil...so I am going to make my own. I am currently drying out some orange peels so that they can be the scent of our shampoo.
- Bake our own bread. I am selling off some surplus items from around my house so that we don't have to spend extra funds to buy this awesome bread machine.
- Increase productivity from our home garden. This weekend we are cleaning everything out and beginning our spring planting (kale, spinach, and broccoli seeds will be hitting the dirt).
- Make my own bags for produce, bulk bin items, and unwrapped baked goods. I saw these bags on Pinterest and find the instructions easy to follow...I think even my meager sewing skills can make this happen (they have tags to write bulk bin item numbers on the side).
- Make our own cleaning supplies. You would be amazed at what white vinegar, borax, and baking soda can do for your house.
- Repurpose and reuse the items we have instead of being so quick to buy new.
- Making our own cola. My husband loves a soda every now and then...but he doesn't love the ingredients SO we are going to try a few recipes, starting with this one.
As these projects progress I will be sure to blog about it. Because if something is a success, or even a failure, there is bound to be something we can learn from it and by sharing with all of you who knows what you can teach me :)
What sort of suggestions for having less impact can you share?