No Impact Man was an interesting experiment. First, I would like to address the feel of the movie. While at first I thought the antics of his wife diluted the message, the contrast she provided to living a “no impact” life ultimately strengthened the film. In truth, her views more closely resembled that of the typical American, and so we were given a vantage point much closer to home than just being cast out as an observer that could not possibly relate. Having the two extremes served not only to mock our ridiculous consumerist culture but also to show the difficulties of actually going “no impact”. Importantly, the message is not to live in either extreme but rather to pin point which small sacrifices we are willing to make in our daily lives to reduce our negative impact on the environment. If nothing else, I gained an acute awareness of the amount of waste created by our everyday indulgences. For instance, the fact that in the average lunch, I will create the following amount of trash: the paper plate, the plastic forks and knives, the plastic straw, the paper wrapper of the straw, the bag my chips come in, etc. Certainly one comes to find that our output of trash, even on a daily level, is ridiculous. I have since avoided any superfluous containers or bags. Out of all the things he talked about giving up in the movie, I think I would be most interested in getting more involved in my diet ie eating locally grown, healthier food. I honestly feel like I am constantly tired because of my unhealthy diet, but I also blame my lack of options at Ringling. It is not actally feasible for me to go to the market and cook my food, both because of time and money. I’m already forced to pay for the meal plan and can barely find anything worth eating every time I go to the cafeteria. I also like the idea of riding a bike and getting my electricity from solar panels. Not to make excuses, which is what I feel like I’m always doing, I think you need to be pretty anchored to your community and have a very regular rhythm to be able to pull off most of these impact-reducing practices. What I mean is that we are a very schizophrenic society always jumping around from one place to another and the reason we need processed and convenient goods is because we are not anchored to one community or cycle, rather every day is a frantic race to accomplish as much as possible without anything like “finding food” or “eating right” to get in the way of our clustered schedules or our precious leisure time. Essentially, I never feel like I’m in one place long enough to get used to it and truly engrain myself in sustainable practices. Considering I’m going to be at Ringling for four years, maybe now is the time to start.