Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alternative Things: No Impact Man

Chris and I enjoy eating locally because we feel, in many ways, we're making less of an impact on the earth and decreasing our "carbon footprint" when we grow our food or choose locally sourced products.  While not everyone agrees that this is a benefit, I know that I produce less trash when I get my produce from the garden or bring my eggs in from the hen house than I do when I'm purchasing it all conventionally.  For me, that feels good.

I was intrigued by a man who decided to live an entire year by making as small an impact on the earth as possible, and he created a documentary called, "No Impact Man," about his experience.  His "retail-obsessed, television-addicted" wife is documented on the journey with him.  Watch the trailer at his website.

We borrowed the video from the Wichita Public Library, and honestly I felt his experiment was definitely intertwined with a desire to sell books and movies (which, funny enough, creates impact on the earth).  However their experiment, as all people's experiences do, gave me some new things to think about.

How do Chris and I experience no impact, or less impact on the earth when we eat locally?
  • We know our honey producer, and go to his house to have him fill our honey jar when it is empty.  No container to throw away, because we reuse ours.  And...we can ride our bikes to his house.
  • Freecycling egg cartons:  Prior to getting my own chickens, I saved my chicken cartons in hopes of finding a use for them (yes, I'm an obsessive recycler).  I listed them on freecycle, and gave them to a local farmer who was incredibly happy to receive them for her plethora of eggs. 
  • We use less tin cans when we open up a jar of home canned apricots, pickles, or jelly we preserved from the fresh summer season, then reuse the jar next year. 
  • And, it all tastes better - which has nothing to do with impacting the earth, but it impacts my food choices, health and life.
So, here's to less impact on the earth, and loving local eating!

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