Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Change Yourself, Change the World

Colin Beavan is the No Impact Man. Through his blog, book, and documentary film (trailer above), he has increased awareness of the ways in which individuals can improve their quality of life while creating positive environmental change.

In the Spring of 2009, Beavan founded the No Impact Project, inspired by his year-long, zero-carbon experiment in New York City. The mission of the No Impact Project is:

To empower citizens to make choices which better their lives and lower their environmental impact through lifestyle change, community action, and participation in environmental politics.

The idea behind this mission is that "individual behavior change leads to both cultural change and political engagement." Again the importance of personal agency in transforming national and international paradigms comes to the foreground of the climate debate.

Sure, the lifestyle he promotes is intimidating (if only at first) and presents some problems. The biggest of these obstacles is that not everyone is readily willing to sacrifice the amenities we have come to take for granted in today's society. But through his work Beavan challenges us, asking, "What if those amenities distract us from what is most important? What if we could live better, happier, and healthier lives without them?"

Starting on Sunday, October 18th, the Huffington Post is hosting the first ever No Impact Week in partnership with the No Impact Project. This initiative will give each of us the opportunity to experience some or all of the lifestyle changes Beavan and his family went through during their own experiment, and ideally it will show us that the task of living carbon-free is not so daunting after all. To get more information about No Impact Week, follow this link and to register click here.

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