Follow Those Links! 6/18/10: How Green, How Fast?

by Ellen

Happy Friday! I have two links to share.  They are both about changing how we interact with the environment. We know it’s important to take good care of our planet. How far do we go as individuals in preserving it? What are our responsibilities? More importantly, how much will we need to change how we operate on a day-to-day basis in order to be better prepared for our future?

1) No Impact Man. I stumbled upon this movie recently and sat transfixed. (I watched it instantly through my Netflix account, but you could also order it from your library.)  The movie is a fascinating look at how a Manhattan family reduces its environmental impact as much as possible for one year.  We’re talking no cars, taxis, buses, subways, airplanes or elevators for a whole year.  As the family eases into a greener lifestyle, they eventually cut the electricity to their apartment. They even keep a bin of worms in their living room to compost their food scraps!  I have to wonder if I’d be willing to:

  • buy all our food from local sources with no packaging materials.  (No coffee is grown in Massachusetts.)
  • stop using toilet paper (!)
  • reduce my trash to zero.
  • give up buying new products for a year

If you’ve seen No Impact Man, or read Colin Beavan’s book or blog by the same name, I’d love to hear your thoughts!  I found that I was mostly interested in the family dynamics under such a sudden and extreme change in lifestyle — especially since it was Colin’s idea and he was asking his wife, Michelle, to give up a lot for his project!  Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from their experiment was that we should start incorporating changes now and slowly…

2) Transition US. I’m so excited that our little town is embarking on a Transition!  (You’ll be hearing more about this initiative on BodyEarth in the future.)  Transition is a world-wide movement to build community resilience so that we’re all better equipped to deal with economic downturns, dwindling oil, and climate change.  In our town, we’re hoping to make it easier for town residents to share their skills, barter for products or services, join community gardens, set up food co-ops, come together socially, and more.  Some communities have even printed their own money!

From Transition US:

Transition US is a nonprofit organization that provides inspiration, encouragement, support, networking, and training for Transition Initiatives across the United States. We are working in close partnership with the Transition Network, a UK based organization that supports the international Transition Movement as a whole.

The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. It represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected.

Be sure to check out this short video of Rob Hopkins, co-founder of the Transition Initiative.

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