No Impact Cyclist
0 comment Saturday, May 31, 2014 |
So I saw this film this weekend at this film festival.
Long story short, the documentary chronicles a man (Colin Beavan) and his family's (Michelle and Isabella) attempt to make a zero net environmental impact.
He and his wife set about this in a few phases. Phase one meant getting rid of waste by avoiding pre-packaged foods (trips to the farmer's market ensued), disposable diapers, and other disposable products, etc. The second phase involved the family's food choices. They began growing some of their own herbs and veggies, buying only locally grown meals, avoiding restaurants and they became vegetarians (since the factory farming meat industry is one of the biggest scourges on the environment... I saw another film all about the food industry). The last phase saw them kill their electricity for six months in an attempt to consume less. This also meant that the Beavans had to stop purchasing things they didn't need and give away the crap that cluttered their lives.
And they aren't even hippies! They are just normal people who believe in being good environmental stewards.
Also worth noting, is the fact that the family gave up their TV from the get go. And, in the spirit of this blog, at the outset of the project they began using only active transportation. No cars, no trains, no buses, and no elevators just human power.
The point? Well, not every self-proclaimed environmentalist has the stones nor the interest to do what Colin, Michelle and Isabella did. I'll make no claims to it. BUT the real message is that not only can the normal person do A LOT to lessen their impact on the environment, but that they don't really have to compromise anything of equal worth to do it.
Here is my spiel. Our life is packed to the gills with things that are supposed to make our lives simpler or more comfortable. But what happens? Our alternator goes out and we have to work extra hours at the bike shop to pay for it. Or our iPhone costs an extra thirty quid a month so we can figure out what restaurant to eat at and how to get there.
Why not cut out the middle man? Ride a bike. Read a map. We could simplify our lives so we don't have to stress out about how to pay for more of life's so called conveniences. And we may even have extra time to go for a hike or volunteer for an environmental organization.
All of the great things in life like teevee, cars, Starbucks, twitter, drive-thru fast food and pre-packaged food are modern conveniences that come with a pretty hefty price tag. We pay with our waistlines, our natural resources and our sanity.
This is why I ride a bike. Well. Not really. I mostly ride a bike because I like it. And I am a cheap bastard. It is just nice to know that doing what I like has the ancillary benefit of having lower environmental cost than the alternatives.

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