No Impact Week Kicks Off

Time to turn off the lights and minimize your impact. (Photo: daveoratox [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

I'm taking part in the No Impact Week challenge hosted by Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, being thrown over at Huffington Post. Yesterday was kickoff day, an early start on the week where participants were asked to first type up a list of all the stuff we "need" to buy this week, then deleting things we can live without for the week and figuring out if the rest of the list can be obtained via secondhand, borrowed, or homemade means.

I've also started setting aside all the packaging and food waste I produce throughout the day in preparation for today's focus on waste. I'm going to write about my experiences a day after they happen, so I'll cover today's activities in tomorrow's post.

If you're not a part of the No Impact Week you should still download and read the 17-page guide Colin and his crew of volunteers (including my awesome friend Jenny) put together for the week. It's chock full of great tips and information that should make us all think about the environmental impact of our comfortable first-world lives.

I already live a pretty low-CO2 intensive life. I live and work in a small apartment heated by natural gas; in the wintertime I can get away with just heating my living room and office. I don't own a car and get around mostly on foot or bike.

I've never been a big shopper. I try to buy for quality and then use and keep things until they literally fall apart. I've been wearing the same pair of glasses for the last decade and have kept every cell phone I've ever owned for over two years each time.

I could do better with food packaging. I recycle like a fiend, but the greener step is to not consume items that use plastic in the first place. My love of yogurt, cottage cheese and frozen strawberries means a full recycling bin most weeks. I also have a lot of work to do on not wasting food and am hoping to come out of this week with some better habits that will lead to my throwing less food to my composting worms.

I'll be writing about my week all week, so stay tuned. It's not too late to jump in either — swing over to the Huffington Post for all the details.

They've also built a cool news page just for No Impact Week stories.

And lastly, Marc Gunther (no relation, but what a great last name) wrote up a good post on Colin and the project.