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2007 09 19
No-Impact Man

Since we've been spending a lot of time discussing the policies of Toronto's mayor, we wonder: does he use toilet paper? Like most North Americans he probably does, but a story in today's BBC.com made us do a double-take. A new York family decided to spend a year living as close to a zero impact life as they could. One of the steps they took was to not use toilet paper. The story's headline? "US family tries life without toilet paper" Catchy.

Here are some of the other ways the Beavans suggest reducing our environmental footprint:

1. Turn off your electricity - no fridge, washing machine, or dishwasher

2. Don't drive - bicycle

3. Wash clothes by hand

4. Use only natural cleaners like borax, vinegar, and soda

5. Buy second-hand merchandise only

6. Take a hamper to the food market - no plastic bags

7. Put a solar panel on the roof to power a laptop and one light

8. Use a crank up radio

As the Beavans will tell you, going cold turkey on all aspects of modern life is probably not the answer. In fact, one advantage that the Beavins had came from living in a big, modern city:
"But the fact is that it is actually easier to live an efficient life in this city, and this is well documented. Here in New York, we emit about a third of the carbon per member of the population of the rest of the country, and it's because of the efficiencies of scale of this city."

Want to know more about this family's epic journey into the no-impact zone? Here is their blog.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 09/19 at 01:21 PM

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