I'm not sure if you know, but Whole Foods is doing this rad thing called "Let's Retake Our Plates." It's all about knowing where your food comes from and your decisions about what you eat affect the entire planet. One of the fun things involved with this project is that Whole Foods around the country will be screening certain films relating to this concept of conscious consumption. One of the films is Food, Inc. (no surprise there), and my friend Jenny and I are going to go see it when it airs here in Austin (Jenny's going veggie for a month - yay!). As I scrolled through the list of films, another one caught my eye... No Impact Man.
As soon as I got home from work today, I started watching via Netflix (yes yes I re-subscribed...) and was immediately enthralled. This family spent an entire year attempting to eliminate their carbon footprints. Oh and they live New York City. UH HUH! They did things like get rid of the TV, stopped eating out and buying any kind of packaged food, committed to no riding in cars or traveling by plane, stopped making garbage, used cloth diapers (yuck) and... for 6 months, they GAVE UP ELECTRICITY IN THEIR HOME. Uh huh... yeah. I'm talkin' lots of candlelit dinners. I'm talkin' weird makeshift refrigerators (that ultimately didn't work). And they're not like hippie alternative New Yorkers, they're like... the real deal. Fifth Avenue residing, designer clothes wearing professionals.
The film is so good. SO good. And you know what? It kind of slapped me in the face. I try to be "green". I carry reusable shopping bags, I rarely buy bottled water (and only when it's my only option), I recycle as much as possible (my apt doesn't recycle glass and b/c I can't bear the thought of just throwing it away, I save it and either drop it off at Whole Foods or take it to my friends' houses who have recyling bins), I never brush my teeth with the water running, and I turn off the lights as much as possible. And yet...
I find that I've gotten lazy. I use way more ziploc bags than I should, I create an enormous amount of garbage for one person (and two pets), I subscribe to way too many magazines (half of which I don't end up reading), I keep the TV on when I'm not watching it, I use baby wipes and cleaning wipes like they're going out of style (OCD much?), I stopped buying recycled toilet paper (b/c it kind of feels like sandpaper), and I just... I got lazy. It's really easy to do that in this capitalist, consumerist society, especially when we're so far removed from the effect of all this consumerism and waste. This film reminded me of just how important it is to think twice about my carbon footprint.
I'm inspired, and I hope you will watch the film and be inspired, too.