Movie Review: No Impact Man

Even though it it’s late and almost my bedtime, I feel I must let my brain throw up all that it is thinking after watching this documentary: No Impact Man.

First let me give you a brief history on how I feel about environmental impact, and the lifelong debate I have in my head over things like this. First off, I REFUSE to preach about this. Preachy-niss in generall make me wanna yack, and I often just rebel against whatever is being said. I do however admit to being mildly preachy about eating good food, but this is only because I think it is yummy, and I really want you to try it. In generall though, if you want to eat un healthy, who am I to stop you? So back to the planet. For the most part I am very PRO planet. I like trees, nature, clean water. I hate garbage, smog, sick animals and people. I do however admit that I am a shitty environmentalist. In fact the only real “eco-friendly” things I do are:

-Use re-usable bags (unless I forget and then I just fill my purse with my groceries and people think I’m crazy)

-We try to shut off all our lights when we don’t need them (although this is more to save money than the environment)

-I dont liter (It makes me feel like a bad person)

-I use eco-friendly spray cleaners

So yeah, that’s about it. I’m sure there are other things I do that I don’t think about, but for the most part I’m pretty lame. I’m sure you are wondering why RECYCLING isn’t on that list. Nope that wasnt a mistake. First off at my place of work we use a fair amount of paper, but MOST of the stores I go to do not have any recycling set up. The store in Boulder did have recycling, because its Boulder! At home we also don’t recycle….ugg. Truth again is that our apartment ALSO doesn’t have recycling set up. Whats a girl to do? I suppose I could actually take my recyclables somewhere to be recycled, but that wont happen. In the movie we watched tonight Colin Beavin ( No Impact Man) makes a comment that recycling is really DOWN-cycling because as we reuse the products to make new products it breaks down the materials and leaches toxins. Obviously this isn’t an excuse, but I thought I would share. Id rather just not have much of anything to recycle to begin with.

As far as other “eco-bad” things I do, the following are my major flaws:

-I drive a car (this will NEVER change. We do not live close to things (NIM lives in NYC) and my work is a 45 minute drive at 4:30 am…not going to bike that or ride a bus)

-I drink bottled water….stricktly (yes you read that right. I refuse to drink Colorado’s tap water. To me it tastes foul and awful. I have often let myself become dehydrated before I will take a small sip from a drinking fountain. In Washington the drinking water tastes great to me! I miss it! So I buy a case of Bottled water every week and half or so.)

-We Throw Shit Away (like a ridiculous amount. It’s a mix of food products because I cook a lot, and mail, and other shit. We probably produce at least a large bag of trash every day, and there’s even more in my car)

-We Love to shop! (Yes I often buy used, but we also buy all kind of packaged shit that only leads to more garbage.)

So the movie is basically one man (and his wife and baby) who live in the heart of Manhattan, and vow to be Impact Free for one year. They do it in stages, starting with No motorized transportation, Eating only local (no coffee!), no consuming. Then moving onto bigger things like no trash (including toilet paper) composting in his apartment (flies much) and finally cutting off his electricity. Although his plan is extreme, it is not his goal to go “without” but to figure out what he can’t “live without” and work a low impact life into his families.

Both Mr. Gaunt and I really enjoyed it (we love a good documentary) and both had some strong feelings afterwards. Mr. Gaunt actually agreed tonight to let us give up TV! I have been trying to convince him of this for 6 months. We will be calling Comcast on Monday to make the changes. For me though, I have a few more things I want to look into.

1. Composting: Id like to find a local area where I could take my organic scraps. Maybe a local garden? I could keep it all in a large sealed plastic bowl until I needed to deliver it. Has anyone ever done this?

2. Continue to buy local and Organic.

3. Reduce our garbage to only 2 bags a week: This will be a huge challenge, I’m also worried about smell. Hmm…will have to think this one through.

4. Purchase a Brita Water Filter for the fridge: I HAVE to kick my Bottled Water habit.

5. Buy more bulk: Id love to buy or make things that don’t require packaging. I HATE packaging. This will also reduce our garbage.

6. Invest in reusable snack bags, sandwich wrappers, coolers, silpat mats, and other things to reduce our need for Ziplock and Foil.

7. Look into making my own cleaning supplies: Also to reduce packaging. I can reuse the spray bottles I have now.

So that’s about it. I would recommend people watch this (especially if you hate this kind of thing) right after you watch Food Inc. I will keep you posted on any changes I make. And Id love any tips you have too!