One of the hard parts about the No Impact experiment is that it is not part of any tradition or culture. That is to say that because we are not part of any community, we have to make things up as we go along. That’s why I like this new project launched by Miranda at Simple Living and Sharon at Causabon’s Book, which strives to give a set of fixed and stringent rules for reduction of individual greenhouse gas emissions, in each of seven areas, by 90 percent.
[Added since I first posted: I want to emphasize that what I like about this project in particular is the community of people working together towards the goals. I really do believe that each of can only do what we can. These stringent goals are definitely not for everyone. I just thought it would be interesting to show you what some people are working together to accomplish. A community of people who supported each other in the single step of not using plastic bags or to go cups would be equally inspiring. Takers?]
- 50 gallons per PERSON, per YEAR
- 1,100 kWh per HOUSEHOLD, per YEAR
Heating and cooking energy:
- If your home uses propane or natural gas, 100 therms per HOUSEHOLD, per YEAR
- If your home uses heating oil, 75 gallons per HOUSEHOLD, per YEAR.
- If your home uses locally and sustainably harvested wood: Unlimited
- If your home uses unsustainably harvested wood, 5 cords per HOUSEHOLD, per YEAR
- 0.45 pounds of garbage per PERSON, per DAY
- 10 gallons per PERSON, per DAY
- $1,000 worth per HOUSEHOLD, per YEAR.
- Used goods count only ten percent of their purchase price (so you could buy $10,000 of used stuff).
- Used goods that were donated to Goodwill or the church rummage sale, etc, can be bought in unlimited amounts (since might otherwise just end up in landfill).
- No less than 70% of food purchases should be organic and be grown within 100 miles.
- No more than 25% of food purchases should be bulk, dry goods (flour, pasta, etc) from more than 100 miles away.
- No more than 5% of food purchases should be wet goods (meat, fruit, shampoo) from more than 100 miles away.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.