Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Year without toilet paper

Is this even possible in Houston. One families journey to have zero impact on the environment. Limited electricity, no toilet paper, only eat food within 250 mile radius of Manhattan.

NYtime article: The year without toilet paper

The blog is just launching this balmy February day of 2007—yippee!—but our no impact experiment has been going on for two and half months. So, just a little recap and update to let you know what you need to know to understand what is going on and where we’re at.

No Impact Man is my experiment with researching, developing and adopting a way of life for me and my little family—one wife, one toddler, one dog—to live in the heart of New York City while causing no net environmental impact. To do this, we will decrease the things we do that hurt the earth—make trash, cause carbon dioxide emissions, for example—and increase the things we do that help the earth—clean up the banks of the Hudson River, give money to charity, rescue sea birds, say.

In mathematical terms, in case you are an engineer or just a geek who likes math, we are trying to achieve an equilibrium that looks something like this:

Negative Impact + Positive Impact = Zero.

No net impact. Get it?

We’re taking a year to do this thing (starting the end of November, 2006) and it’s working in stages. Stage one was figuring out how to live without making garbage: no disposable products, no packaging, etc. Stage two was figuring out how to cause the least environmental impact with our food choices. Stage three is figuring out how to reduce our consumption to only what is necessary and how to do that sustainably. The whole thing gets harder and harder as we add each stage.

What will the future stages be? Who knows? I am no eco-expert. I am just a liberal schlub who got sick of not putting my money where my mouth was. In a way, the whole project is a protest against my highly-principled, lowly-actioned former self. I’m fumbling through, trying to do my best and doing the research as I go along. This blog is my attempt to tell you how it’s going.

That's pretty much everything you need to know to understand this blog. But for more details on the design of No Impact Man, the book, the movie and all of that, see the posts on the left hand side under "What's It's All About."


Pimp Doggie Dawg said...

ok, TOADIES post is done--just for you!

firetunnel said...

no toilet paper. Well, the Saudi's don't use toilet paper and it really icks me out. They just wash their hand that they JUST FREAKIN' WIPED WITH and then go about touching stuff I have to touch. Bleh... But hey, more power to these guys. Whatever makes you sleep better at night!