Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No Impact Man

Last night I had a little movie night and watched No Impact Man. This film came out in 2009 and I had heard a lot about the documentary which follows Colin Beavan, his wife Michelle and their young daughter Isabella for a year as they embark on an environmentally impact free life in New York City.

What an interesting documentary! Living in San Francisco has given me a little bit of an eco fix so to speak, I feel that most San Franciscians practice many more eco friendly habits such as composting, local produce,  and not using plastic bags but this film opened my eyes to exactly how much more each of us can do.

Colin and his family become impact free in stages but eventually get to the point that they only walk or bike as transportation, have no electricity, only consume foods that have been grown within 250 miles of them and watch how it transforms them not only as individuals but as a family. Pretty great experiment.

It left me thinking ok - I know I am not going to go without electricity but what are a few small things I can do to reduce the impact I have on the planet? Here are a few things I came up with.

1. When at the farmers market I already bring my own cloth tote bags to carry things home. But I often still end up with the produce in the individual bags the vendors use when they weigh items. By being conscious of this and only using the cloth bag I can easily reduce the amount of plastic bags I bring home.

2. Investigate making some of my own cleaning products. This is something I have been meaning to do for a long time. Many things labeled "natural" are not as good for us as they seem. Truly natural ingredients can be blended at home and will be a lot healthier for us as well as environmentally friendly. Using plastic bottles we already have helps reduce waste even more.

3. Really be aware of where my food is coming from. Buying only local produce and meats helps to reduce carbon emissions from trucks used to transport foods to and from stores. Eating locally also helps you to actually eat in season and enjoy what is fresh and to challenge yourself to try new things. 

I know there are many more, those are just the top 3 that stuck with me personally from the film.

What ideas do you have to be eco friendly? 

I highly encourage you to check out the film, really insightful and Colin's wife Michelle really made me laugh as she acknowledges the reality and sometimes uncomfortable moments that come with their project.

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