I recently watched a documentary about a guy named Colin Beavan, a.k.a. “No Impact Man.” Basically, the film documents a pretty extreme year-long experiment during which Colin, his wife Michelle, and their daughter Isabella try to reduce their environmental impact to zero. What did I think about it? Well, it was definitely entertaining, thanks in large part to the (very understandable) resistance from Michelle. After all, I’m sure when she said her wedding vows she never imagined that “for better or for worse” would include a lifestyle full of challenges like raising a small child with no electricity or toilet paper. C’mon. A woman has limits.
Besides being entertaining, the film was also pretty inspiring. If you’ve been wanting to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly, you’ll probably come away from the film admiring the Beavan’s efforts and feeling like you’re ready to ride your bike to the nearest farmer’s market and buy some seeds to plant a new garden in the back yard.
Most of us, however (myself included), being the typical, average, garbage-producing, resource-consuming, ozone-depleting, convenience-driven humans that we are, may come away from it a little glazed over. Overwhelmed, perhaps. The film really opened my eyes to the unending ways that my life impacts the environment.
This is where i found the real value in “No Impact Man.” It makes you think. It’s really easy to overlook all the little ways we impact the environment in our daily lives. It’s much too easy to get too busy or distracted, or rushed, or whatever it is that keeps us from taking that extra 5 seconds to think about our actions and choices, and their consequences. If you find yourself in that boat, you’re definitely not alone. “No Impact Man” rocked my boat a little bit. But that’s a good thing. There will be some positive changes coming from it soon, but that’s another post.