In looking around the New York Times website today I found this story, The Year Without Toilet Paper. The premise of the story is that this family is living a year in New York doing their best to not have an impact on the earth. No trash, nothing grown outside a 250-mile radius of Manhattan, not using the elevator, nothing that uses fossil fuels, or toilet paper.
This is an interesting idea and experiment for a book, but this is something that I couldn't do. These days it would be pretty hard to do this, especially with my wife.
I am not meaning that we are not doing our part to reduce our footprint. We drive a hybrid, we have replaced most of our light bulbs with compact flourescent bulbs, walk to the grocery store when I can, and try to recycle as much as we can.
But I couldn't live without toilet paper.
Scott Wells on his blog Boys in the Band has a pretty good point in his blog post, Make some impact, effectively,:
Look at your checkbook. It should be pretty easy to pick out the parts of your life that deserve an sustainability and environmental audit. Let’s say housing and property maintainance, electricity and fuel, transportation, food, medical and health care and charitable giving.
I think all of us should look at how we are impacting the world and do our part to reduce our impact and footprint. We should do what is best for ourself and our family.
I wish Beavan and Conlin well. And I will be looking for the book and documentary when they come out. You can follow their year at noimpactman.com.