Our environment class has decided to embark on doing something or take something out that is having a negative affect on the planet. This was inspired by the documentary No Impact Man created and done by Colin Beavan and his family. Colin his wife, 2 year-old daughter and dog spent an entire year creating a lifestyle where there was no impact on their surrondings and in the world. To sum it up, the Beavans lived an entire year with no trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no electricity, no TV, no toilets and many other things.
Our class is not being as committed as the Beavans, basically due to the comfort level that they had to give up. So each person in the class is giving something up that impacts their environment for 3 weeks. There are many options for each of us; it is just choosing how committed people want to be. I have finally been able to become vegetarian over the past year against my mother's wishes. I originally decided to make this diet due to animal rights but I have also recently have learnt I have less of an impact on the environment by making this choice. By just cutting out all meat and fish it saves water because farming consumes 70% of the water for live stock. It also saves land, protects the ocean and over all reduces your carbon footprint. Livestock farming is responsible for almost 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 65% of Nitrous Oxide emission which is very dangerous. Cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the total methane generated.
Being vegetarian is something that I plan on keeping for the rest of my life, so for this project I decided to do a couple other things. I have decided to completely cut out all TV for the next three weeks. This includes internet TV and movies. I never realized till this project how much TV I do watch until I totaled it all up. I would watch over approximately 20 hours a week. That is just not right-that is almost a full day a week wasted! This is going to be great challenge for me. I will probably want to cheat because TV is almost a comfort blanket for me to have each night which is pathetic. I don’t plan on cheating at all, because I am excited to see what I will be doing with this spare time and hopefully just not use it for sleep. Sadly I don’t think that what I am going to be giving up will be measurable due to the fact that my parents are not following me with my action. I have also learned that 80% of the TV's power is still used when it is plugged in. I do plan to unplug the TVs unless my family gets really frustrated with me. But I will see how that goes.
Even though this is not something that creates a huge difference as I would have liked, it is a test for me for the future. If I am able to do this now and see what I get out of it I will see all the things I can do with this free time and hopefully carry on watching less in the future. I also plan in the future that when I have my own TV I will unplug it as much as possible.
I am very interested in my impact on the environment so I have also decided to really help my mother with our organic garden. She grows one every year but I have never really helped so now with all my free time of not watching TV I am going to truly help her this year. I love to eat organically so this only makes sense. This way my mother and I will feel better about what we are eating and also what our family is eating.
So from this day on I am not watching TV or using a TV for the next 3 weeks, and trying to eat more organically as well. I am excited to see what will come from these actions. I know I will not have the same experience as the Beavans’ but I am excited to see what I will get out of it and hopefully see a bit of what they had to go through.