Updated on September 28, 2010
Jen’s Green Challenge
I’m really happy and excited to announce a new project that I’m putting together for my blog…Jen’s Green Challenge!!
Last week, Chris and I watched a documentary called “No Impact Man“. Basically, this guy, Colin Beaven, went one year leaving as little impact on the Earth as possible. He and his wife gave up every day things that we normally take advantage of. Some examples were:
-Living without electricity
-Eating and purchasing only local food
-Giving up on using paper products
-Biking or walking as transportation rather than using transportation that requires fuel
-Not buying any NEW products (only buying used or recycled)
-Not buying any products with packaging (buying foods in bulk, only, in reusable containers) in order to reduce waste
Colin said, “The fact of the matter is that if only I change, it’s not going to make a difference, but the hope is that if each of us as individuals change, it’s going to inspire everybody to change. So I believe the most radical political act there is, is to be an optimist. The most radical political act there is, is to believe that if I change, other people will follow suit.”
Which, I think is pretty inspiring and well said. Even though his changes were really radical (I would never give up electricity completely–I would just be more conscious of turning lights off when leaving room, etc.) I think this film really makes us think of our actual impact on our environment. Every LITTLE thing helps. Even if it is only one person doing it–hopefully this person will inspire others to do so as well. We only have one Earth, so we need to protect it!
Chris had this input: “Even if you think Colin was crazy giving up everything, the point is to not give up everything, but to analyze what you do NOW and think about how we can scale it back and be just a little more friendly to the earth. Also, the point is to do things that make life less comfortable. Thomas Friedman (in his book “Hot, Flat & Crowded“) makes a great point about how people think we’re in a “green revolution”, but it’s more like a “green party” because a true “green revolution” would involve people sacrificing, people hurting, drastic changes in lifestyle for the good of the future. So we need to emphasize just how drastic we need to be. I think when we do without paper products and bottled water, that will be a pretty good test. We want it to be challenging, not just “oh I will try to use resuable bags when I go to the grocery store.” We want the same dedication that Jen had when she wanted to lose weight.” So well said!
Chris actually came up with the idea for my challenge, so I give him the most credit. He also told me I need to live up to my blog name! Each month, I’m going to decide ONE thing I’m going to do to become more sustainable. I’m starting October 1st, and Chris is going to do the challenge with me. This challenge is going to last ONE year. I also encourage my readers to partake in this challenge also!
I made a nifty little button you can stick onto your sidebar, linking back to my Green Challenge Post if you’d like to!
Challenge #1 – October 1, 2010 – October 1, 2011
For one year, only purchase only wine or beer from whatever state I am in. In other words, since I live in New York State, the only beer or wine I purchase will be produced here. But, if I’m in another state on vacation or visiting, I will be allowed to buy that state’s beer or wine. Does that many sense? I have a few bottles of wine that I’ve bought already that aren’t local–but I can still drink them since I’ve purchased them before starting this challenge. The beer or wine I buy from now on will have to be made in New York State.
Why one year? In Chris’ words: “Each month we do something that lasts a year so it builds gradually, hits a peak and then tapers off. Hopefully, at the end we will actually decide that we don’t need to stop at the end of the year.”
Why is this going to be a challenge for us? For one, we normally don’t think about where our beverages come from. We order whatever is on the menu at a restaurant or whatever we see at the beverage center or liquor store that looks good to us. We like to try different types of wines from distant lands! Do we ever stop to think about how far these items have traveled to get here? We will have to think twice about what we consume and where it comes from. To me, just knowing that my wine has come from a vineyard in New York State makes me feel a bit better…that it hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to get to me.
So, who is with me? Leave me a comment saying if you’d like to participate. It would be much appreciated! I will start a page with a link to your blog. BTW, you don’t need a blog to partake in the challenge. And every month I will post the new challenge for the year.