Besides the elimination of all the toxic chemicals required of a swimming pool, there is also the lowering of electric bills where the constant running of the filters and auto-vacuums are concerned. I turned the gas-heated spa into a bio-filter and disconnected the gas line.
Not only has this saved time, effort and money, it has created a wonderful backyard habitat! The owls, herons, hawks, multiple small birds, raccoons, frogs, possum and other visitors (even a duck once!) are all so much happier with my pond that the chlorinated toxic dump we used to call a swimming pool.
One benefit I was surprised by was/is the more moderate temperatures in the back yard. On those 90+ degree FL days, my back yard is 5 degrees cool than the street! And when we get our rare freezes (as we will tonight) my yard will most likely remain warmer.
In short, more wildlife, no chemicals, more fun just watching the antics of birds and frogs, less money spent on electrical, gas heating and chemicals and way less back-breaking work! And yes, the water is crystal clear and safe for swimming!
This post was submitted by Heidi Marsh.
My boyfriend and I keep a mini-flock of four chickens in our urban backyard. They provide nearly infinite amusement, as well as a steady supply of delicious and healthy eggs for us and our neighbors. No more pale yellow yolks in my omelette!
This post was submitted by Kendall .
I have used public transportation, by varying degree, for nearly 15 years, and when I started, I enjoyed the luxury of living close enough to the best job I ever had so that I could walk, bike, or ride to work rather than driving.
Times have changed, employers have changed, and my current employer moved 6 miles further from my home a year ago. They used to provide half-price monthly passes, and now offer free monthly passes, on multiple public municipal transportation systems. Nonetheless, I have reduced my dependency on these modes by riding my bicycle for as much of my 44-mile round trip commute as possible.
Last Fall, I was riding 24 of those miles daily, down to 162 pounds, BP was 117/75, and for the first time in my 59 years, my good cholesterol was well into the desired range, and all the ratios were favorable. This year, I hope to get below 160, and walk/pedal 30 or more of those miles.
This post was submitted by Brett Hawks.
I’m a composting nut. I’ve saved tons of food waste from entering the landfill and raised millions of healthy earthworms. since 1975…for really…I have composted all of my cooking refuse. there is a stainless steel 4 quart soup pot that lives on the counter by the sink. It has a lid and is always shiny. throughout the day everything from fruit and veg peelings, hulls and seed pits to tea bags goes in. at dusk I walk back to the fenced composting area and dig a hole, chop everything up, layer it with shredded leaves or grass and bury it. back inside I wash the pot and we’re good to go for tomorrow.
all through the growing season I have instant, at the ready, beautiful rich compost to add the garden and top dress the shrubs.
This post was submitted by Donna Iona Drozda.
1. I have been a vegetarian for 13 years. I was happy to read in Colin’s book that this fact already lowers my carbon footprint significantly. However, I fully support small farms raising happy animals who have fresh air, sunshine, a good life span, and who are killed humanely & quickly. CAFOs are a stench in humanity’s nostrils (literally).
2. I garden. I HAVE to grow some of my own food. Connecting with the earth this way is a part of my being. The fulfillment one gets from digging in the soil, saying hello to the earthworms, and planting a seed is truly indescribable. Every time I plant a seed and nurture a plant I feel I have given birth to something wonderful. I will nurture them and in turn, when the plants are ready, they will nurture me. What a beautiful process.
This post was submitted by Amanda Hunyadi.
I have long been concerned about the production and consumption of electronic products. It is one of the most polluting manufacturing processes and the problem is the continual need to upgrade never ends from cell phones to laptops to IPODs on and on. The electronic waste is shameful and extremely harmful to the environment. Check out the photographer Chris Jordan’s website to get an idea of the waste we generate: http://www.chrisjordan.com/
It prevents us from enjoying the present moment, enjoying people’s company, a sense of community and the ability to truly listen. I also am concerned about the radiation from cell phones, wi-fi and other radio technology that permeates our environment and impacts our health.
We have made a commitment to continue using the “outdated” technology we currently have until it breaks. When it breaks, we purchase used or re-furbished electronic devices. We have never purchased a television -we have been given them by people who are buying new ones.
If we want to reduce our environmental impact we must avoid the technology trap – it is a corporate gimic to get us to continually buy more.
This post was submitted by Gail Coffey.
The following blog entry can be found here: http://apotaday.blogspot.com/2010/01/day-8-no-impact-mans-environmental.html
It’s clear that one of the main impetuses for starting this project was my need to shit or get off the pot, as they say–to get some pottery made finally so I can launch my storefront at www.rivervalleycrafts.com, but you may be surprised to learn that the incident that pushed me over the edge, on its surface, had nothing to do with art making.
A few weeks ago, Ralph and I went to a talk by Colin Beaven and a viewing of the documentary named for his project and blog, “No Impact Man,” at NYU. I’d spottily followed his year-long project to go virtually off-grid with his family in their NYC apartment via his blog, and was more than intrigued by their sincere adventure as I’d thought of going a similar path, though had never had the inspiration to take it as far as they finally did.
Listening to Colin talk heart-fully about how he and his wife learned deeply from their year of “living without” that they gained a meaning, purpose, fullness and joy heretofore unrealized in their “successful,” high-powered professional city lives, was what moved me to do my A POT A DAY project. Being in his presence, more than watching the very worthy documentary I suggest you see, about their year, was really what cinched it for me. I felt, from my front-row seat, not more than a tall body’s length from where he stood, his passion for sharing his new-found wisdom about how we’ve gone too far astray from connections with family, friends, community and the earth, as we chase the illusory, unreachable dream that Capitalism and her gi-gondo commerce and advertising promises us.
What was most inspiring about him, was that he didn’t preach. He didn’t even consider trying to convince the callow, NYU student naysayer when she provoked him. He spoke only of his and his family’s experiences and cited objective, statistical data from studies highlighting clearly that Americans are a miserable lot relative to most populations elsewhere on the globe when they are asked to rate their happiness and life fulfillment.
And when people asked what they could realistically do to tread more lightly on the earth, to find more time and meaning, his only advice was two-fold: Volunteer at an environmental organization and beyond that, figure out what you want and can do. Sage words, I think.
Ralph and I left the screening and talk buoyed by hope and inspired to shave a few “necessities” from our lives, namely the television, as we live pretty pared down as it is. We’d not been big watchers, save for those few binges a year we each fell prey to, but most evenings we did find ourselves watching an hour or two between arriving home from work exhausted and falling into bed.
So, let me get it out here now, we still have a t.v. in our living room (behind the closed doors of a cabinet, I might add), BUT we’ve not watched but a few hours total in the past three or four weeks since our No Impact Man night. Honestly, I was afraid to just turn off the cable right away. I needed to make sure we, and I, could do it–fill our evenings with more interactive and engaging endeavors.
I’m pleased to report I will call Time Warner Cable in the next day or two to cut our subscription to the most basic level, so we just get reception and the old fashioned stations. And, as soon as I have adequate time to figure out how we can get the few shows we want online I will cut the service completely (I will update you on this). I’m a great believer in moderation and the middle path. I WILL watch the boob tube from time to time, especially news, my vice.
So, A Pot A Day owes much to Colin Beaven. It’s with the time in my days and space in my head that watching less television opened up, that the project was conceived fully and executed. I’ve also been reading more than I have in the past many years, and have purchased a very inexpensive guitar from a neighborhood vendor and have begun teaching myself to play via lessons on YouTube.
This post was submitted by Cori Morenberg.
OK… I made a list on my blog of 101 things to do to live greener. Since it’s a long list, I’ll just post the link: http://open.salon.com/blog/the_almighty_beckster/2010/01/01/101_easy_ways_to_have_a_greener_2010
And yes… I’ve done all of them!
This post was submitted by Rebecca.
Is poverty thinking synonymous with Low/No Impact Living?
The psychological effects of Low/No Impact Living deserves attention.
One of the most uncomfortable consequences of Low/No Impact Living is how it triggers negative peer pressure; drawing out defensiveness BIG time. Low/No Impact Living downright provokes a lot of people because it challenges eons of conditioning.
Raising my conscious awareness of the psychological implications of Low/No Impact Living, broadens my understanding of it.
Anat Baniel, author of “Move Into Life” said, “When we move with Attention, the brain re-maps.” I am lowering my impact by remapping my brain with conscious awareness of Low/No Impact Living.
This post was submitted by Eileen Balint.
I think your wife is an amazing woman, your daughter is an absolute doll, and you are my hero! We LOVED your documentary! It is remarkable the lengths you went to for ‘the cause’. Given all that, I am so disheartened that I cannot recommend your movie because I am lowering my impact by not buying products with excessive packaging.
The message ‘no impact’ is critically flawed in every way when it comes to humans. Just being born has a tremendous impact on the Earth. But I’m sure you’ve heard this about as many times as I’ve heard, “but how do you get your protein?” . . . . . I start my tirade here as it seems to me that it’s the most obvious place to begin. But wait, a ‘no impact’ movie with an obscene amount of packaging seems, well, absurd! Please tell me that you had no input on the packaging of your DVD! Please tell me that the distributor threatened to force feed you a Big Mac! Please tell me something I can wrap my head around, please!!
This post was submitted by Darris B. Nelson.