I’ll be blunt, but the things and extremes that the “no Impact Man” attempted were VERY extreme. In honest, I wouldn’t able to do half the stuff he was doing.
Part of it would be because of the society and time we live in. No electricity, and fridge would be my main thing.

The idea of not using heat or the air conditioner is a nice concept. Human for the longest time have lived through nature’s fury and such and have survived. There are ways to get around it. So in a sense, I could probably go without it for a certain period of time.
Having said that, since the invention of automatic heating and cooling, our natural instinct to find alternative ways to keep warm naturally has diminished. We as a society have come to rely on things being instant and at the tip of our fingers. So I suppose in extreme cases of heat or cold, the automatic heat and air could be turned on.

Speaking of instant things in our lives, one of the main things that come to mind is the idea of fast food. Over the past decade we have heard the negative effects of fast food and how horrible it is. Yet people everyday go to these chains of instant food. Why?
Because our lives are constantly in motion. We are always on the move. Its society today. Many of us don’t have time or the luxury to stop at home and make a home cooked meal!

Even though I think these things are the extreme, it doesn’t mean I haven’t done my part in contributing to helping our planet.

I’m a firm believer in recycling items and conserving energy. Back home, when my family and I first moved into our house we have one little tiny recycling bin. That wasn’t flying with me. Since then, we have acquired two large trash can size recycling bin and another small bin. We all keep our soda cans in a separate pile.

In our community, you can take all the aluminum cans and take them to a local recycling center. They weight the amount of cans you bring in and based on the weight and a predetermined and set value you get money back!

In turn these cans are recycled and reused as various profitable products!

My grandmother heavily influenced another thing that my family and I do. She lives in the bustling city of Seoul Korea. Its pretty much New York City but on steroids. My grandmother loves nature and always wanted a garden to care for. So whenever she visits she loves taking care of our garden. She plants various vegetables and plants and cares for them.
She also does a at home compost pile. Whatever decomposable item we create during the day is put into a small bag or bowl. At the end of the day, she goes outside and dumps the compost pile near our planted trees and garden so the insects and worms already in the ground can begin the decomposition.

Since then, I’ve made it my personal mission to do such things at home.

My mother is a firm believer is saving money any way possible. Even if that means cutting certain things off or out of our lives. One of these habits is the use of the AC, heating and electricity.

My parents have set our thermostat to extreme temperatures. Only if the temperature gets to a certain unbearable point will the AC or heating turn on. And it’s not that much too. Enough to make the house bearable. However, we’re used to it. (It’s just a pain when guests come and they’re not used to it)
We also have various places in the house that are very cool and nice in the summer and warm and comfortable in the inter. So we naturally gather there and spend time together.
With electricity, my parents turn off lights and power cords in rooms that aren’t in use. (With the except of the computer…that’s always in use)
Still my parents are conserving electric and saving hundreds in their electric bill!

One final thing that my family has done as a whole was cut out fast food. Though it’s hard since we’re an active family:  during high school I was involved in many school sports and activities as well as my brother. So sometimes fast food was easy and a must. However, if my mom was home, she would bring us dinner and we would have a home meal on the go. Now in college, I try to be mindful of keeping fast food and soda out of my diet.  (Its hard because its convenient, but I do try to be mindful of it) and my brother simply avoids fast food because of his sports involvement. My parents, since they’re not as busy driving us everywhere stays home and has a healthy home cooked meal.

As a collage student I try to buy things that are healthy. Farmers markets are great, but can be pricey, and with a limited budget I’m forced to buy only what I need. However, I do plan on going to farmers market and such after collage. I also ride my bike everywhere. I save money since I’m not paying gas and it’s a nice way to get some fresh air.

Everything I do seems simply and trivial, but every little thing helps in making our world a better place. We have only one earth. It’s our responsibility to take care of our Planet.



8 responses »

  1. I would agree with the beginning statement. What he did in “Impact Man” was very extreme and is not a realistic way of living for most people today.
    However, everyones lifestyle is different so we could all take at least one thing from “impact Man” that we could add. I’ll admit I could probably not live without electricity but I am more conscious on how I use it. I don’t care how solar panels look so I would be interested in investing in those. Plus I am interested in composting and having my own garden. I do like to buy my vegetables and fruits from farmers market. So there are a fews things that I can do just by implementing them into my daily life. But not as many as were taken on in “Impact Man.”

    ~Mackenzie Vartanian

  2. I agree about the unrealistic way of No Impact man, but I understand what he was trying to go for, and for the us of the general population who couldn’t do the extreme things that he does we could definitely do things like go to the farmers market and make a compost I myself have had a compost in my backyard and it was great we used it to plant our fruits and vegetables in our garden. Something interesting I would like to mention about the fast food, is there is a thing in California called Slow Food where they make everything in the back of the store and when they cook they only use freshly picked vegetables and ingredients so everything is fresh when you get it thought it was interesting.

  3. Rachel Schwarting says:

    I agree that a lot of No Impact Man was pretty extreme, but I guess he was just trying to explore all the possible ways to reduce your footprint so that we could see what fit into our lifestyles.
    I always liked the idea of having a compost in a garden; hopefully I can try that out someday as well.

  4. I wouldn’t say he was extreme, it only seems extreme to us because we grew in a society of consumption and convention. Everything he gave up were the consumptive and conventional technologies and energy that ultimately affect the environment negatively.

    In my opinion I believe what he did was awesome, and goes to show how far we have come to rely upon these conventional technologies. The biggest point of it all is that it’s not impossible to live naturally without dependence on conventional technologies that harm the earth.

    The only problem with No Impact Man is that not everyone will be able to give up so much because certain people need vehicles to travel long distances, others need other conventional technologies for other reasons, etc.

  5. April Manuel says:

    I feel like its really hard to get rid of fast food especially since I am in school and have to go back to the labs after I eat so I just grab fast food. I want to try eating at less fast food joints and I have also started recycling.

    I moved to Florida from south Texas and when I was there, I never saw any recycling bins. Now that I’m here I see so many people recycling and I think I need to join in on this because of our planet. I am also sharing what I learn in class with my family in Texas.

  6. Elaine Wu says:

    I think one of the main reasons people have a tendency towards things that are instant is so that people can focus on other things that they deem more important in their lives. Without having to worry about whether or not one is cold or hot, or wanting to grab a quick meal instead of something healthy but ultimately will take a longer time to procure, makes their lives a little more efficient.

    Also, I wanted to point out that it’s strange that Sarasota doesn’t have a recycling company. At Ringling, we use up so much paper and we don’t have the option of recycling it.

  7. Ben Anderson says:

    I think he was extreme but on purpose. He gave up everything to prove a point that it is possible to give up all these “necessities” and that you don’t have to give up everything like he did to make a difference, but it is possible to give up a little for the good of the planet. Either way you look at it the man is inspiring and deserves to be respected.

  8. Amanda Koh says:

    I think its great that your grandmother had her own compost area in her backyard. If I had one in the future I wouldn’t mind trying it for awhile. I think I just have to get over the hump of knowing i’m accumulating a bunch of insects in a particular corner of my living area!

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