Man…No Impact!

by Cibele Mariani

No impact. None at all. No more carbon foot-print. No more consumption. Did he really say “NO” to everything? The “No Impact Man” Colin Beavan challenged himself and his family to live a year without producing any negative impact to the planet. His documentary, No Impact Man, follows his life and his thoughts during that experience. In his attempt to minimize his ecological impact, he gave up many modern comforts in favor of a simpler lifestyle. His many actions including dispensing with disposable products and starting a compost box. Although he gave up several modern comforts, he used his creativity to make the challenge easier.

I must admit I was a little disappointed to see that the only representation of women in the movie, the man’s wife, could not last more than two days without complaining about not having any coffee. Still, the wife in the movie was pretty supportive and, overall, I found the movie inspiring. I was especially struck by the message that we should not indulge in unnecessary things. The film made me realize that we can do so much more than what is easy. We can try harder and go farther! As capable individuals, consumers, property owners, and members of our communities, we must do more than just separate the kitchen trash. Why settle for doing so little if we can do so much more?

We cannot entirely eliminate our influence on the Earth because we rely on the natural world, but we can be more aware of our actions and try to understand their consequences. If I don’t agree with people being slaves in Hong Kong, why should I buy cheap products from there? If I don’t want to use my hard-earned money to pay high electric bills, why are my lights still on without me there? Remember the 3 R’s (Reuse, Reduce, Recycle), avoid plastic, go organic, buy local, engage your community, and look for sustainable energy initiatives such as SouthCoast Energy Challenge. Remember that the Earth is as much a part of us as we are of the Earth, and there is so much more that we can do to improve our relationship with the natural world.




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