Wednesday, 3 February 2010

No Impact Man


In January, our village in England launched a greening campaign.  These scarecrows popped up all over the place -- not to frighten the birds away, but rather to draw attention to the cause.  How many of us do have our head in the sand when it comes to climate change?
   
Our village chose eight actions to focus on, and it asked every household to adopt at least five.
  • Boil only the amount of water you need.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room.
  • Turn off taps when brushing teeth.
  • Turn the thermostat down by 1 degree C.
  • Walk or cycle if the journey is less than a mile.
  • Turn off all inactive appliances and standbys.
  • Change 3 light bulbs to low energy.
  • Reduce each normal shower time by one minute.
Little things, really -- requiring some habit-change but no great (or even minor) deprivation.  Our household was already doing all of them, to some extent, although we could improve on shower time and turning off inactive appliances . . . and I still drop my daughter off at the bus-stop every morning.  (In this case, the emotional energy required to get her to walk more than a mile up-hill, with a heavy bag, and usually in the rain, isn't worth the CO2 savings.)

However.  Although cutting back on any waste is preferable to doing nothing at all, surely, these are still the sort of actions that Colin Beavan describes as "easy environmental half-measures" in his recent book No Impact Man.  Buying organic, recycling, using natural cleaning products, driving a hybrid:  these may slightly lessen our negative impact on the world, but they won't solve any of the big problems we face.

No Impact Man is an account of one family's attempt to live in New York City for a year with little to no environmental impact.   The book follows a roughly chronological timeline, which follows a sort of learning and living curve:  first, living in a way which creates no garbage; then eliminating carbon-producing forms of transportation; then eating only food which is produced within 250 miles of NYC; and finally, turning off the electricity altogether.  As he describes the family's adaptation, he also links each element -- diapers, for instance; or eating a piece of pizza -- to the larger cultural and economic climate. 

The book is not really a how-to guide, though.  Although Bevan does provide many specific examples for living a no-impact life, the book is really more of a philosophical treatise.  Bevan is more interested in considering what value, if any, there is to only a few individuals making this kind of radical lifestyle change.  He wants to discover both the negative and positive aspects of going off the grid -- not just the electrical grid, but an entire of way of life based on convenience and consumption.

Although it isn't exclusively an American problem, Beavan is keenly aware that consumerism is so embedded in the typically American way of life that it is pretty much its bedrock.  As he phrases it, "to be a good citizen is to be an aggressive consumer."  I remember noticing how much environmental issues got derailed last fall during the economic crisis.  We (as people, as a governmental bodies) are interested in the environment only to the point where it doesn't impact jobs or salaries.

Last week my husband was at an energy conference and the panel of speakers admitted that there was no way that the UK could meet their targets for reducing carbon.   We know we need to do it, but it really requires a total overhaul of the way we live now. Technology can only help to a certain extent;  meanwhile, resources (clean water, oil) continue to dwindle.  "Clean" coal; what a misnomer.  Energy security is one issue, but environmentally, coal is a disaster, wind power is exorbitantly expensive and nuclear energy has all sorts of attached hazards.

The BIG problem is that populations continue to grow; the second biggest problem is that people continue to want to maintain (or improve) their standard of living.  Also heard at this conference:  one expert said that each (first-world) person represents about 3 tons of carbon in usage/waste . . . unless you take into account the stuff that we all use, and then the figure is more like 12 tons.  Yes, China is burning up all kinds of natural resources at the moment -- and most of them are being used to create stuff to sell in countries like the UK and the United States.

I was thinking about all of this last weekend when I went to IKEA to buy my daughter an inexpensive desk.  Have you been to an IKEA recently?  It's an enormous warehouse filled to the brim with overwhelming amounts of "affordable" stuff -- much of it made in China.  As I was checking out, I couldn't help but notice two rather ironic signs.  One of the signs proudly proclaimed that IKEA was a plastic-bag free space; the other encouraged IKEA shoppers to take public transporation, instead of cars, to the store.  At the moment, the IKEA experience seemed to encompass everything that was wrong with our current way of life.  The truth is, even if I could have taken a train to IKEA -- and we don't have a line that runs that way -- it would have cost more than the desk to make that journey.  Also, when you are going to a store to buy things like sofas and desks, the train is really not ideal.  Not using a plastic bag?  Well, I take my reusable bags everywhere, but really, that adds up to a small band-aid when it comes to overall waste.

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the load of recyclables sitting by this "scarecrow" made out of recycled material.  It's better to recycle than to not recycle, but the real problem -- as Beavan points out -- is that we make so much trash.



One of the interesting things about No Impact Man is that gives Beavan the chance to discover what aspects of modern life really are necessary for a good quality of life.  Clean water, for instance; but also a washing machine.  A television or a bread machine?  Not so much.  Beavan does acknowledge that any environmental measure that causes true deprivation or pain is unlikely to adopted by any but the most ascetic few.  Living without electricity is not going to appeal to many of us.

It seems really unlikely that our governments are going to solve this problem for us.  The recent Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen was not notable for its cooperative success. The measures adopted by my village aren't going to fix the environmental problems either -- but that is not to say that they aren't worth doing.  Thinking about climate change can make a person feel despondent; the problems are just so huge.  Ultimately, No Impact Man is really a book about what it feels like to take personal responsibility for a seemingly insurmountable problem.  It was definitely food for thought.

And by the way . . . of all of those energy-saving measures, the most meaningful is to turn down the thermostat.  It saves more CO2 than everything else combined.




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40 comments:

spudballoo said...

Fascinating, and thoughtful as ever. Love the 'men' all over the village, how very very British!

That's interesting about turning the thermostat down. I wouldn't have guessed taht correctly. brrr, the walls of this house are so thin. Not sure I have it in me to turn it down...and already wear 4 layers (I just typed lawyers...I wear 4 lawyers...hmmm).

xx

Sarah Laurence said...

Welcome back to the book review club! Barrie’s host post isn’t up yet, but she said it will be soon. I love how you combined this review with your personal life, politics and tips for living green. This is a great sum: “No Impact Man is really a book about what it feels like to take personal responsibility for a seemingly insurmountable problem.”

I go by the 3R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. People jump too quickly to the last “R” of recycling. Reduction is key. A big part of the problem is packaging. If only we could hold manufacturers more responsible. Were you in England when a big supermarket chain started selling a single portion of spaghetti with a disposable colander? Back in the 90s in England you had to bring your own bag to grocery stores.

As for thermostats, programmable ones are the best so that you are only using heat during the times you are home and out of bed. My office and kitchen are on their own zones so the rest of the house can be chilly during the day. Turning the heat off completely is not an option in Maine. English hot water bottles are a great idea for nighttime; plus you sleep better in a cold bedroom.

slommler said...

We do turn our thermostat down and a chilly bedroom definitely promotes a good nights sleep. That and a Sleep Number bed. LOL!! No trains or buses in my neck of the woods, so that isn't feasible for us. I do try to carpool when going into town as well. And have been trying to reduce across the board. But millions of us have to work on this. Not just a few.
Big problem..then we could get into a discussion of landfills and the true problem. But that would take too long.
Hugs
SueAnn

willow said...

We do make too much trash, don't we? Glad to hear the low thermostat does a great deal to help. I keep ours very low in the winter months, since I like to be comfy in my woolly socks!

Reya Mellicker said...

The scarecrows are so cheerful. I'm proud to read through the list of recommendations. We do all of the above here in the house on Tennessee Avenue, except for taking short showers. I love my hot shower, please don't take it away from me, ok? Please? Puh-lease??

In DC they now charge 5 cents for every bag in retail and grocery stores, so I'm seeing lots of people actually bringing their re-usable bags to the supermarket. It only took 5 cents to change behavior. Wow.

We are a very successful species with big frontal lobes and opposable thumbs. So we do have impact, but you're right that we can reduce that impact.

Bravo!!

David Cranmer said...

Sounds like a thought provoking read. "... to be a good citizen is to be an aggressive consumer" may be the most intriguing line I've read all week.

Dan said...

This book sounds a bit like A Life Stripped Bare, by Leo Hickman. It's great that your village is taking collective action for the environment. I guess it is a massive task to reduce our carbon emissions, but surely doing something, even on a smaller scale, is better than doing nothing. A very thought provoking post, and thanks for sharing what you are doing about it in your neck of the woods.
Best wishes
Dan

ewix said...

You post was thoughtful and thorough as ever.
This really hit home and is a very important topic.
I really think the US is in a fever of purchasing cheap things from China which are cheap for a reason -poorly made etc etc.
When will people wake up to the fact that things do not make one happy? (Book, plants and people do --not necessarily in that order.
As you know, I'm pretty fierce about 'stuff' and long to live a life of cheery deprivation: as in WW2.
I think it should be our aim to live with as little as possible.
Of course it is easy to get seduced by things.
I like things with the best of them
Thoreau
SIMPLIFY SIMPLIFY.

Meri said...

Thoughtful, interesting post. I've turned my thermostat down about 3 degrees F from where it used to reside in the winter months and I've changed to low-energy bulbs in most fixtures. But I shudder when I think of the amount of trash that my little household generates, even though I recycle.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I heard this family on NPR, I think. Thanks for reminding me about the book. This is something I am very interested in. We have almost no insulation in our house and since it is cinderblock, it's very hard to get any without constructing new inner walls.

Teresa O said...

I wish the rural towns here would face climate change as something more than a joke. I admire your village for taking a stand and getting the word out.

I'll have to pick up "No Impact Man."

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Love the scarecrows.

I take my Mexican bolsas to the store. Everytime I go to Mexico I buy another. They're so roomy, strong, and colorful. It was so cold here last month...I turned the thermostat down to 60, lit the fire, wore heavy sweaters...it was cold and I enjoyed it...a bit like camping out. My TXU bill was an outrageous 400.00! What a bunch of crooks. (I'm assured that everything is working correctly.) 'No Impact Man' sounds fascinating. I'll look for it.

I thought of you last week when I made my chicken with grapefruit sauce. The grapefruits were the sweetest, most delicious Texas Ruby Reds. I even said aloud - "Oh, wouldn't Bee love these." From the other room I heard, "Who?"

Catherine

Beth said...

We now have Smart Meters which record our use of electricity – and we’re charged more during peak times. Not optional, government regulated BUT it does make you pause, think $ save – electricity and $$.
The book sounds fascinating – perhaps somewhat guilt-inducing but that can be a good thing.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Bravo! Excellent advice and I am impressed with your village resolutions. We do all these, too, and It's wonderful to see a village taking at stand at the governmental level. Here in the states there are still far too many people who do, I'm afraid, have their heads buried, choosing to believe it's all a myth. Drives me nuts.

Oh, and IKEA depresses me like no other place. I visited once, and had to lie down afterwards with a cold cloth on my head!

Bee said...

Well, Spud -- There was a burly scarecrow insulating a roof. Shall I send that one to you? But I know what you mean; our old house is never going to be energy-efficient.

Sarah - You're so right; the packaging waste is horrendous. A disposable colander? That's just obscene. Happily it does seem like there is some headway with the reusable bags, though.

We have a programmable thermostat, too. No heat at all on the bedroom side during the day, and then the reverse during the night. This year we've also experimented with keeping our thermostat at 16/17 instead of 19. When it is dark and cold outside, it is dark and cold inside as well!

Slommler - Even though we take trains into London, and sometimes Reading (the closest big town), it is nearly impossible to get by without a car in the countryside. There are more options in cities, really.

Willow - The trash men couldn't come during our snow days, and it was awful to see how much trash there actually was when it all piled up. Never mind wooly socks . . . I'm thinking about getting some sheepskin slippers!

Reya - Hot showers are one of my indulgences, too. I've been trying to turn the water off halfway through, when I soap up and let the conditioner soak in, but I HATE it.

They've started charging for plastic bags here, too -- and there's definitely been improvement. It's just a small area, but we really don't need all of those wasteful plastic bags that won't degrade and all seem to end up in the ocean.

David - I wonder how much of our economy relies on built-in obsolescence and the constant gratification of consumerism?

Dan - I will look up that book; thanks for the tip. I really admire people who figure out how to live on next to nothing. There was an article in last weekend's Guardian about people in London who squat in empty buildings and eat from the massive amounts of food thrown away every day.

Ewix - Sig and I were talking about this at dinner tonight. One of his colleagues wants to retire but is trapped by maintaining his houses, his golf membership and all of his stuff. Simplify, indeed.

Meri - We seem to recycle everything, but the amount of paper and cardboard packaging is just awful. We have done exactly the same with the thermostat this winter . . . bad luck that it has been so cold! (I had to cajole husband into turning it up when my TX parents came to visit.)

Pattinase - I assume you live in the U.S.? We used to live in Houston, and the shoddy construction there used to make us CRAZY. All of that air conditioning being squandered on the great outdoors.

Teresa - It's difficult to believe that people are still living in a state of denial about this.

Catherine - I do love my sweet ruby red grapefruit; how did you know? :)

Last summer we were selling our house in Houston and the realtors (presumably) left the thermostat at some arctic temperature. The bills were horrendous and no one was even living there! It still burns me up.

Beth - He tries really hard not to make it seem guilt-inducing -- and he mostly succeeds. I guess it depends on where you're coming from.

I know that my post probably comes across as humorless, too earnest, too dull and too long . . . and I left so much out! Maybe it's because my husband works in the industry, and knows exactly how hopeless the government is, but I fret about this issue a lot. I wish we had a SmartMeter; it's nicer to make sacrifices when you can see what you are saving.

Kristen In London said...

Bee, everyone in America, over Christmas, shivered at our choice of indoor temperature! We have all, after living in England, come to rely on hot water bottles and the extra sweater long before we turn up the heat, but I'm ashamed to say I haven't really bothered to see how much this affects our energy bills.

My one shameful admission is that there's a hot water pipe next to my bathroom sink tap, and I habitually run the water while brushing my teeth, hoping to get a stream of cool water before I finish brushing. My daughter has finally scolded me enough to make me stop. Thank you for underscoring her words.

Elizabeth said...

Of course R. and I are horribly morally pure.
No car, small apartment, 4 pairs of shoes each etc etc
then we go and fly to India or England which negates all that recycling of tin foil and using Moroccan shopping basket for 2 years etc etc.......
The hypocrisy out there stuns.

Anyway, I suppose it's better if people are a little bit aware at least.

Mr B Drunken said...

I am out from lurking on this one as it's my expertise. It's a huge problem and unfortunately very bit doesn't count.

There's a huge misdirection going on in the area of carbon. The scientists have it right. The press, green movement and politicians are horribly confused.

A tax on plastic bags does almost nothing for global warming. Unfortunatley it gives the impression of progress when in reality there is none. I am against waste in general and want to reduce landfill so we recycle and compost. It's doing nothing for global warming. We keep the house cool and save money. Then we all fly to the USA a couple fo times a year - and they fly over here.

Oh and our green Government who were slinging mud at China post-Copnehagen approved four (yes 4) coal fired power plants. That negates a whole life time of our gestures.

Big problem that needs big policy solutions. As the USA points the finger at China, thye can point back that they are near negative emitters if you subtract out their exports.

The UK hit its Kyoto targets easily thanks to Margret Thatcher closing down our coal and heavy industry. We have exported out pollution to developing nations and then have the gall to complain to them.

Opening position for the developing world at Copenhagen, "You cut down your forests centuries ago (Europe is naturally a huge forest. You burned coal for a century and live rich lifestyles. Global warming is exclusively caused by your shit in the atmosphere. And now it is my behaviour that is wrong ! Get the **** ouuta here !"

Enough

Mr B Drunken

C.A. said...

Well, you said it: "The BIG problem is that populations continue to grow;"

Got kids? You're part of the problem, not the solution. It's a CHOICE, no one has to breed, but most often they do.

Until we solve THAT issue, all else is just hot air and hopeful ignorance.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Bee

Great post! I keep the thermostat on 68 during the winter months and I try and remember to take my re-usable bags when I go shopping.

I do recycle my plastic grocery bags by using them for trash and I don't have to buy the large or small grabage bags.

Best
Tracy :)

Mone said...

Great post, everyone needs to take responsibility for our enviroment. Consumerism is not an american problem, it is a problem of every first world coutry. too bad that many young people believe that "stuff and things" really matter.
Mhhhmm not that I'm old.....

Polly said...

This really is fascinating, in a terrifying sort of way. All I can add to this is that I am doing my best, cycling, turning down heating, the whole lot... but I feel hopeless sometimes when I see people who simply don't care...

Thanks for this post, I think those issues can't be stressed enough.

Nimble said...

So much to think about...

I used to shy away from reminders about what I as a first world consumer can do to reduce my pollution footprint. It reminded me of the public service announcements from my childhood in the 70s. It made me feel bad about myself rather than empowered to help. I know that's my own neuroses and have grown out of that somewhat.

Individual responsibility for our actions is separate from the truly large scale of the problem. It is easy to feel either smug or defensive about the length of one's shower. I will try to waste not want not as I go through my fairly chaotic life. But I know as one person I can't control much. Keeping my bunk neat as a pin isn't going to make the Titanic float any better.

In the face of this lack of control I prefer to take a very broad perspective to try and understand the time that we are living in. Humans have overrun the earth and live in every climate zone. We have caused a significant species die off and have changed the land, water and air for the worse ('worse' in terms of supporting our own life). We have the ability to change some of that but the will and the cooperation is going to be hard to assemble.

What will happen next? Half full: Will we have a technology breakthrough soon which would either eliminate the need for fossil fuels or minimize pollution? Half empty: Will the environment degrade significantly in the next 50 to 100 years, threatening human existence? I'd like to read both of those science fiction novels. (And I have.)

Why am I hopeful? It's not just a refusal to face facts. The future is uncertain. Life on earth is resilient. Most humans would like to leave a better planet for their offspring. (By the way CA, I don't like your tone though I do agree that all women should have education and control over whether and when they get pregnant.) This life is quite a ride.

jane said...

great post bee. i´m going to check out that book. energy is so expensive here that people only put on the heater for a few hours a day. i always thought that would be such a good incentive in the states... hugs!

sheris white said...

Recycling isn't as efficient here as it should be. I cringe when I have to put clear plastic containers, that even the organic baby spinach comes in, into the trash instead of the recycle bin.

Stephanie said...

I heard him speak on NPR, you've really summed it all up well. We do what we can as well...my daughter feels the house is so cold she can see her breath :)

I also heard a very interesting story on NPR today about a tracking site that tracks merchandise, mostly clothing, from beginning construction to end point. The carbon footprint from just one garment was the equivalent of burning 1 incandescent light bulb continually for months at a time. It's truly mind boggling..sorry for the long comment...just really wanted to say thanks for this great post.

Maggie May said...

i love the scarecrow and the movement. i had heard of this movie but forgot all about it until your post. great job, bee.

Barrie said...

Personally, I do lots of little green things. But I think the operative word is "little." I'm sure, especially after reading this post, that my efforts add up to even less than a drop in the bucket. Which is disheartening. Anyway, thought-provoking post. It was great to have you back on board!

B said...

Lots of food for thought here, Bee! So interesting... I'm going to have to check that book. It's so important that we all start changing our expectations of what a comfortable lifestyle is... because our currents lifestyles are not sustainable.
I don't have a TV, so can I keep the thermostate as it is? :)

Marcheline said...

Ye gods and little fishes, there is no place on earth where one is safe from the mention of woolly socks. 8-)

That aside, I tend to be on the side of Mr. B Drunken and C.A.

Everyone wants to "be part of the solution" with cutesy little stuffed people and tiny little things we can all do...

And the reality is that the rich people who hold the actual power over coal mines and industrial waste will never give up their own money or luxuries for the good of the environment, and people will keep popping out children like rabbits.

I think that a lot of the fluffy bunny tree hugging ecology stuff is an avoidance tactic so that no one has to be made uncomfortable by the truth.

Nancy said...

Wow - what a great post! I agree with absolutely everything you said. The garbage issue is just dumbfounding. I've noticed how much of what I use creates garbage - like face cream. I would be so nice if we could bring in our jar and have someone behind the counter refill it. I've decided not to buy salad dressing from the store anymore. It is so easy to mix a batch of dressing each day - and it tastes so much better. One more bottle not going into the landfill. But it just goes on and on.

steven said...

hi bee, it's intriguing to me to see a community come together like this. my own city - seventy thousand people - has a very strong green mandate but nothing has been agreed upon across the board. people have just done their own thing. this house recycles as much as possible, we've changed over every lightbulb to high efficiency bulbs, installed a high efficiency furnace, and a lot of the little details that collectively make an impact. of course i walk, bike, or carpool to travel as well. we're on a bridge between where we've been and where we need to be. i don't mind that building that bridge takes time. it needs to be done properly and not quickly. quickly will leave things undone, done poorly, or pushed off to the side as being something we can deal with later. i wish i could be around to see this world the way it should and will be. excellent post!!! steven

Dick said...

We follow the basic domestic disciplines you list, with lapses when we're freezing to the bone or it's peeing stair-rods and we need something from the village shop.

But the one that I actually resent, whilst observing it, is the judicious conservation of water. Britain's water companies have a disgraceful record when it comes to self-regulation. Leaks abound and go unattended and yet profit margins rise pretty much annually as they jack up the price of piping what water doesn't soak away around poorly maintained reservoirs and conduits. So we're following our green consciences whilst at the same time underwriting the water companies' profligacy.

In the months and years ahead I see green politics dividing between increasing state nanny-ism with swingeing penalties against hard-pressed citizens who transgress the eco-laws and a spread of the do-it-yourself, autonomous living anarchism that was once the sole province of new age travellers and commune dwellers.

Lucy said...

That was good, especially with some of the follow-up from Sig and Nimble in particular.

Worryingly, a recent poll said that a large proportion of the British public are sceptical or don't believe at all that climate change is happening. Among their reasons was the fact that we'd just had a very cold winter. So anything like your village group which keeps the issues at the front of people's minds, and keeps them informed and motivated to make at least some efforts to consider and adjust their behaviour, has to be a good thing, even if there is a danger of complacency that the world can be saved too easily.

I've just turned the thermostat down a degree, though I find it hard to believe it's fine-tuned enough to make that much difference. I've just lit the wood-fire which is pouring out more carbon than the French nuclear power stations which are powering our electric inertia (kind of storage) heaters which were the most efficient we could afford. I am in the process of turning an old felted jumper into a pair of home-made slippers, I kid you not. The fire and the woolly socks give one a sense of homespun virtue. I can do these things because I have no children, only work part-time and we have a small private income. However, I have to drive almost everywhere because this idyll of the simple life is miles from anywhere.

And, however much I say I deplore materialism and don't want 'stuff', like everyone, I assume a right to have and enjoy things that even in my childhood no one had even thought of.

I think also that there's a temptation to despair because of the sense that we're just tinkering around the edges, making ourselves uncomfortable, while the rich and powerful go on doing what they want to do anyway: Dick's observation that we are underwriting the water providers' profligacy by our own self-denial extends to many other areas.

Not having children does make me feel in a rather bleak way that at least I'm not perpetuating the problem, or creating any more demands on the planet once my own are finished with. It also gives me a greater sense of detachment, I know that sounds selfish, but I don't have the same investment in the future. But that's making a virtue of a chance circumstance. The problem of over-population is not going to be solved by people in the developed world, who aren't even replacing themselves any more anyway, virtuously denying their desire to have children.

I think deep green people like No Impact Man (I visited his blog occasionally and others like it), are quite an interesting phenomenon, they are rather like pillar saints or Diogenes in his barrel. They are reacting in a stark and meaningful way to the evils in the world, rather than claiming to be able to fix them. For myself, I'm afraid I'm not going to give up the fridge and use menstrual cups instead of tampons - that seems to me like a descent into self-mortification and squalor too far. That said I would like to read it, because as you say, it poses philosphical questions which it is good to keep in mind.

In the end, I don't feel particularly optimistic about the world's potential to be saved, or indeed the human race's worthiness to be saved (though that comes and goes according to mood!). I'll go on trying to stay aware, and to reject greed and waste, because I believe in some vaguely spiritual way, that those things are worth doing for their own sake.

I wasn't going to spend too much time here, but I seem to have got involved at some length anyway... Your posts do this!

Anne said...

Very interesting! I remember reading his NYT article, but I'd forgotten all about the book. Perhaps I'll pick it up. I agree with you about the trash: it's just incredible how much gets generated without our even thinking about it. I try to recycle what I can (and I would feel better if I had the space to compost my kitchen scraps), but it seems like it hardly makes a dent.

Bee said...

Thanks so much for the terrific feedback on this post. The broad consensus seems to be that we are all making efforts to conserve/preserve, but there is a broader picture of energy consumption and waste that small domestic efforts won't alter. On the other hand, better to do SOMETHING surely?

Relyn said...

This was a terrific review. Thank you for it. Plus, I love your villages list of small things to do to improve the environment. And those scarecrows!! I LOVE it!


So. Here it is Valentine's Day and I had to stop by and wish you a great one.

a wish from me:

On this day, may you know, really know how much you are loved. May you recognize love in all it's forms. May you be grateful for the love of children and pets, old friendships and new. May your heart swell with all the beauty this life brings. Happy Valentine's Day, my bookish friend.

Anna said...

Bee excellent 'green' reminder, and just wanted to add that also how about all the transportation pollution getting all the stuff from China, wouldn't be better to make stuff locally. Anna :)

Shaista (Lupus in Flight) said...

Such a brilliant post and review I found myself not wanting it to end :)
I shall follow up on No Impact Man's blog and book - intelligent and empathic awareness is essential, regardless of the feeling of being but a drop in the ocean. There are no arguments strong enough to NOT be socially and economically and environmentally conscious.

j. said...

Hooray for awareness!!
I try to do all I can to help out the enviroment but I still feel like I should do more. At any rate, thank you for posting!