Thursday, May 17, 2007

No Impact Man has turned off the electricity

If you haven't been following the adventures of Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, you are missing out on some very fine writing. Here are the first two paragraphs of a post lamenting that nothing is special any more because every need and every whim can be gratified instantly:

"In my imagination, people used to live like this: you had most of the bare necessities but then every so often a relative managed to get hold of, say, some coffee or some salt and pepper or a guava fruit. That day that it came would be special. These things were called “luxuries” or “delicacies.” If guests came over you’d say, “Hey, you know, cousin John sent us some coffee beans. Shall we have some for a treat?”

Or you’d dazzle your guests by putting salt and pepper on the table. Didn’t salt and pepper used to be a special thing? Today, is anything special? Is there anything so inaccessible that you get a buzz when you acquire it?"

You can read the rest of this post by clicking here.

Colin and his family are attempting to lead a No Impact life in the middle of NYC. They don' do it by buying carbon offsets. They are doing it by eliminating consumption/use of items that take a negative toll on the environment. They have been going in steps, from not buying any item that creates trash, to buying locally, to not taking elevators or public transportation and now to turning off the electricity.

When the sun goes down, they use candles. To maintain his blog, Kevin powers his laptop with a rooftop solar panel system. One thing he didn't figure on, was that his gas range depends upon electricity to turn it on. So when he bakes his bread (made from locally grown and milled flour). he has to turn one circuit breaker on to fire up the oven.

Colin shares an intriguing recipe for whole wheat sour dough bread that I plan on trying out. There was a time in my life when I was really into the bread baking ritual and I'm thinking I might be a good habit to renew. The next step of course will be finding locally grown and milled flour. Anybody have any tips?

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