No Impact Woman

I have to weigh in on this No Impact Man article and the resultant blogger–both positive (see how blogs get us book deals?) and negative (this guy wipes his bum with a chamois!)–feeding frenzy. The deal is, this man, NIM, probably read the New Yorker article, Green Manhattan by David Owen 10.18.04, and was seized with a Book Idea. For one year he would live as lightly on planet earth as possible. This involves Sacrifice–trudging to the farmers market, riding a bike, making his own vinegar, composting…hey wait a minute, that sounds like my life! Except my urban farm isn’t some gonzo experiment to be completed in one year, after which I can start on my next project (The People’s History of Lint). Your Twelve Labors of Herucles, NIM, is the life I chose many years ago.
And let me tell you: this actually is a lot of fun.
Making connections–real connections–with the food you eat is intellectually stimulating and spiritually soothing. Figuring ways around the stupid consumer lifestyle is empowering, not drudgery. Looking for ways to divert waste out of the main channels (graywater, humanure) is actually a fun, community-building endeavor, not some spectacle to be chewed on and then spit out. And it doesn’t end after the documentary filmmaker’s cameras stop rolling or the last remaindered book travels to the pulp yard. To be sustainable doesn’t–and can’t by definition–last for only one year.
So, NIM, welcome–glad you arrived.
PS: Ride the subway, the NYC subway is the transportation model for the rest of the country. Believe me, here in California, we would die to have that kind of mass transit.

One response to “No Impact Woman

  1. Hi! I am a friend of Riana’s in Amsterdam. I just wanted to say you are SO ON THE MONEY by saying that being sustainable by definition is not something you can be finished with after one year. Sustainability is all about the path towards it – a JOURNEY – not an end in and of itself. (kind of like an education).

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