I hate to say it but No Impact Man didn’t really affect me all that much. I can’t really explain it thoroughly but I guess I’d be more accurate to the kind of person his wife was in the beginning. I’d think this is crazy and go out and buy a Monster Java when no one was looking, fighting to hold onto all my creature comforts. And that’s really all they are. They are comforts that human society has developed. The Fast food restaurant, Trash collectors, Toilet paper, have gone beyond mere niceties and turned into the social norm. We expect these things to exist and be used. I remember moving into our current apartment and being amazed that there wasn’t a dishwasher. I can’t tell you the difference in impact between a dishwasher and washing by hand but what I can tell you is that it is much more enjoyable to simply place all my dishes into a machine and press go. I get to forget about them. The problem is taken care of for me.

Perhaps that’s whats wrong with society as a whole. Our problems are taken care of for us. We drop the trash in the dumpster or by the curb and we are told to immediately forget about it. Don’t pay any mind to where it goes or how it affects nature. It’s no longer our problem. Trash really is the strongest example, but one other would be paper towels. When we use a traditional towel we are faced with the dilemma that every time we clean something up with it we are required to wash the towel to remove all that dirt and grime. Once paper towels came along though it was so easy why wouldn’t anyone be enticed by the nature of it. Instead of cleaning this disgusting towel every time someone makes a mess I can clean up the mess quickly, just as efficiently, but now I can throw away the towel and never have to think about it again.

Society as a whole, and I am guilty of this as well, has been lured in by constantly finding easier, more effortless ways to accomplish tasks and as long as they stay effortless we never have to think about what goes on behind the curtains after we toss the trash out or dispose of the paper towel. Until the media and the conservationists can find an efficient way to inform people so they want to take action themselves we will be stuck in this downward spiral towards self-destruction.

Even knowing all this though I still feel like I won’t do much. To me they just haven’t found the right way to approach the subject to make people dependent on our morning Java’s and energy drinks to put down the trash and the waste and pick up a torch for conservation. Maybe its just a matter of marketing or maybe America, the materialist nation, just isn’t ready to give up on our creature comforts. I know I’m not.

– Ciera Fedock

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4 responses »

  1. Jacob Berrier says:

    I think you should try and get rid of one product, you mentioned coffee. Go buy a Thermos and instead of getting a disposable cup have the coffee shops fill up the thermos. It doesn’t require much effort to clean, you can just rinse it out most of the time.

  2. Eric De Barros says:

    I appreciate your honesty and enjoyed reading your response to the film. However, I think you should consider the advice given in the film, to join some sort of a community organization involved in the environment. Perhaps just a community garden? The idea would be you could meet cool people who have found ways to live happily without having a negative effect (or as much of one) on the planet. Maybe doing this would give you some ideas how you could help cut down on your foot print without having to do very much work.
    I totally understand where your coming from, but I think we all need to realize that a lot of these “creature comforts” are actually just artificial comforts that a capitalist society has sold to us. For example, fast food isn’t food. If you enjoy reading books, I recommend Fast Food Nation. There is also a movie, but I haven’t seen the film. My point is just that it might seem like it makes you happy to eat fast food, but if you were to stop eating fast food entirely (and eat simple food of comparable prices bought at a grocery store, like avocados, bagels, banana’s ect) you would be happier. Just a thought.
    Again, I appreciate your honesty and don’t want to sound elitist, just giving my perspective on your response to the film.
    Eric

  3. Matthew Decker says:

    Its definitely the first step to access that there is something wrong with most of our lifestyles, but to say that its up to the media ( which is a joke to begin with) or conservationists ( they can only do so much, and we should probably all be one anyway) is another way of dumping the problem off to someone else to figure out. You really don’t have to be a radical environmentalist to make some simple changes in your life, if you think about it, its just as easy to get used to doing something one way as it is to thinking about doing it in a different way. Its really all in the initial efforts you take, whether getting a refillable bottle for water/ coffee or bringing your own reusable bags when you go shopping. And really once you start making these small changes the easier and clearer the bigger picture is. The issues we hear about in class are incredibly overwhelming, but there are simple steps we can all start to take. If we wait for the green light from politicians, or the media to begin making changes, we’ll be waiting a long, long time.

  4. I definitely agree that trash is one of the biggest issues right now. I know that some trash in different parts of the world are being dumped into peoples back yard. I feel like the majority of people in America wouldn’t feel the need to reduce their amount of trash unless trash was being dumped into their own backyards. People need to stop caring only about themselves but have empathy of others and care about everyone in the world as a whole. We all share the same home.

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