Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Impact Experiment -getting ready

It is 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 28th. La familia is about to embark on our No Impact Experiment. Details can be found at

Essentially, we spend a week trying to make as minimal negative impact on the planet as remember the joy in simple things in life. The importance of not getting sucked into consumerism.

Now..the amature economist in me..realizes that it is not always good to be soloing it. There is a lot to be said for the greater good in being co-dependent..of the specialization of labor.

But this experiement blends well with the understanding that wealth is not money. Wealth is the goods and services people produce. Money is the tool we use to trade wealth. (Bluestocking Guide to Economics)

When we first received the manual I laughed. Really. It talks about preparing..doing whatever shopping you need ahead of time. I thought..this is can it be no impact if you take the luxury version? ..and now? I am getting ready to do my last minute shopping spree. Why? Because I panic..because I LIKE luxury. (sigh) I haven't even started the experiment and I am discovering a lot about myself.

I think I am fairly environmentally conscientious. I realize I am simply almost-almost aware. Maybe I will scooch up a notch to almost aware by the end of this week.

I spent the morning with my 15 year old nephew Calvin. We ate cereal, made brownies, and watched LOTS of cartoons. I haven't had a chance to really visit with him in a couple of weeks. He has been a busy guy! So we discussed his watch. Aunt you want to know what time it is in Russia? Look. I can show you. His math teacher I think she's telling us a story. She says she broke her leg diving out of an SUV while she was being shot at. and the possibility of chasing the sun with space-ships. I have really missed hanging out with him.

Then? I left Calvin with Austen to plan the rest of their day and made the time to take  the no impact pre-experiment survey.

I was horrified.

We had just today, eaten nothing but boxed, pre-packaged stuff and spent the entire morning watching t.v. Definitely not my image of how we function around here..but there it was. In my defense...we only buy 2 boxes of cereal a week?

I think about our garbage output.

I KNOW I should be using cloth diapers. I did this with all three of the older boys..and often with Calvin.

But Levi?

Nope..convenience disposable have won out. my defense (yes..ahem..again with the defensiveness) ..not completely. I have looked for cloth diapers..but only found 7 in a package in one store. I could order them online..but that? Would mean taking the time and $ to do a bulk order..and I am too cheap. So instead, I fill our landfills with impossible to decompose plastic filled with chemicals and spend more money than I would if I just bought a bulk order of cloth diapers..So that is my primary shop- ahead mission today. fill my car's tank with gas (yikes) and
buy the groceries for the week.

So that is it. Tonight we host a no impact experiment party...9 pm. on Planet Green. I just tried to sign us up on the noimpactproject website. I'm having some technical difficulties logging in though. Regardless, I tnink it's a good idea. A way to start us off and clue Big B into what, exactly, we are doing around here.

So we will watch, eat popcorn and discuss what the week might look like. What ideas can we take with us..what will we pass on. Who is coming? Good question. My family..hopefully some friends of the boys. It is sort-of a last minute hosting event. So I'm not too concerned about it.

All for now..will be posting daily this week (maybe..that's the plan) as to how we do..or don't do..on this experiment.


Sardine Mama said...

Apologize to the rest of your family for me...I'm pretty sure you learned about this through my blog :). We're not participating...I think that what we do on a daily basis already surpasses what most people do. It takes our family about two - three weeks to fill up a large trashcan...and you can get cloth diapers from diane!!! I think that packaging is the biggest obstacle to overcome...everything comes in packaging. My biggest sin right now? GAS GUZZLING. Sheesh. I don't know how to avoid it, though. Well, I do...just don't want to give anything up in that regard :(. Good luck and have a FUN WEEK!

grillledcheesechic said...

I think you're right..we did hear about it from you. Geez, thanks...
I'm with you on the packaging and gas guzzling. You know..we don't live where walking, riding a bike or public transport are much of an option. Leaving either a monastic existence or gas guzzling. How to find the happy medium....