Thursday, May 17, 2007

What could you do without?

I've come across a really interesting blog call "No Impact Man." The author is this nice guy that lives in New York City with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. He's conducting an experiment where he and his family live without electricity for a year, eat only locally-grown produce, don't drive a car or take the subway, don't produce any waste, and essentially have no impact on the planet.

Here's an excerpt:

For one year, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, my dog and I, while living in the middle of New York City, are attempting to live without making any net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV, no toilets…

He does have a solar panel on the roof which powers his laptop so he can blog about his day-to-day experiences. It's really amazing.

I got to thinking about my own impact on the environment. So far, pretty good, but I could do better.

I don't own a car and I walk to work. I'm lucky. I would recycle except we have no facilities for doing so. I eat mostly a vegetarian diet simply because I prefer shopping along those lines (when you think about it, procuring dead animals to eat is pretty ghastly).

I was wondering, though, if I had a solar panel that would only power one item in my apartment, what would it be?

What could I do without?

I could do without the computer. I love blogging and looking at questionable material, but I could do without it. I'd just stay later at work to blog or do it on my lunch hour which I usually do anyway.

The TV? Sure, no problem. There aren't any TV programs I'm addicted to at the moment. (I wish there were) Having no TV would free me up to do a lot more productive things that I should be doing anyway.

The elevator would be a problem. I live on the 49th floor, but think about how thin and healthy I'd be? Taking the stairs a lot more would actually be very good for me.

The piano would be a bigger problem. I made the switch to a digital piano years ago and if I'm not watching TV, I'd surely be practicing the piano a lot. Perhaps I'd become a better pianist if I practiced on a real one anyway.

I could even do without the kitchen appliances. I went on the raw food diet for a couple of weeks once and it was pretty amazing. I should be eating that way at least three days a week anyway.

But I'd have to draw the line at air conditioning! Cannot do without air conditioning. I absolutley don't do well if I'm hot. Sweating makes me angry and depressed.

So, my solar panel would be used to keep me cool and happy.
Oh, and the fridge. Gotta keep the leftover pizza that was delivered from spoiling.
No toilet? And toilet paper. C'mon!
I need the blow dryer too.
And hot water.
And. . .

Wow. Looking back on what I could do without really is quite an eye-opener. I'd be a lot more healthy and productive if I did cut back on things that impact our environment.

Hmmmm. . . .

So! What could you do without?

What would your solar panel be used for?


At 3:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I probably need to see that Al Gore movie. But as it stands there's about 20 things in my apt that require power and I could not do without.

At 7:44 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I'd be running all the stuff you are giving up. Screw the environment.

I'm going to recycle more stuff. But I sure as hell am wiping my ass. Let's get real. My grandchildren will not hold that against me.


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