Another documentary! This one is No Impact Man, a movie about a man and his family living in NYC trying to go a year without making an impact on the environment: no buying new clothing, as little trash as possible, no electricity, no cars, no plastic bags from the store, no use of things like elevators, no takeout containers, using home made cleaning products, doing the laundry in the tub with homemade detergent, no more starbucks (this almost killed the wife), and visiting the farms from which he bought his food at the farmer’s markets. I thought it was a really incredible idea since living in NYC they had easy access to everything they ever wanted but didn’t need. This family would climb 9 flights of stairs to get to their apartment carrying their 2 year old child. 9 flights!!! Then he decided to compost their waste into a compost bin with worms…in their house. Worms in the house, it makes sense but later they had a problem with it…and it got gross. I guess if they lived anywhere else they could have left the bin somewhere outside, but not in NY. They were given a solar panel so that he could blog and write his book at home from the apartment, and they would use beeswax candles at night. His wife was so addicted to caffeine that the day before they started she had 3 Starbucks drinks in a row, later this obviously backfired. She was in such horrible caffeine withdrawal that she could barely even function. I was like: why doesn’t she just buy herself some strong tea at the farmer’s market…but maybe she doesn’t like tea.
They received a lot of backlash for this project with people thinking they were just trying to get attention and they were endangering themselves. I don’t see what’s so dangerous about living with less and bringing attention to the issue. What did people do before plastic bags and little individual containers were invented? They used bags and reuseable containers. They did make it a whole year and I know it wasn’t about the money, but I was really curious to see if they were able to save a lot of money from the experiment. On one side: no elecricity bills, no cab fares, no takeout, no retail shopping, no air conditioning or heat, no Starbucks runs, no tv so no cable. On the other side: multiple runs to the farmer’s market, using a cooler as a refrigerator could get a little iffy, bugs in the house, needing to do more laundry (since they had a 2 year old using cloth diapers…and also they didn’t use toilet paper…they used like cloth I guess and just washed it…), cooking every single meal, buying bikes with little carts to pull their daughter, etc.
This was a nice followup from the last documentary we watched: Food, Inc. Now we know where our food comes from and how to slaughter a chicken, and now we know how to be kinder to the environment while still being hip. These are things people need to know.