Monday, October 20, 2008

In yesterday's New York Times there's an article about people going to rather extreme lengths to lessen their impact on the planet. Two thumbs up to them!

David Chameides is collecting all the waste he generates in a year. My grandmother did the exact same thing. She'd be tickled to death to know people were copying her today, if she hadn't already been crushed by a pile of old Reader's Digests.

They mention Colin Beavan, "No Impact Man." He's the guy who won't drive, won't use electricity or gas, and won't generate any trash at all. Doesn't detract from his cause at all that he hired a maid to clean his apartment, that he took taxis wherever he needed to go, and that he ate at restaurants because his dedication to the planet made it too difficult to cook.

At Sharon Astyk's house, her four sons sleep huddled together to conserve body heat. Because really, which is the worse fate -- contributing to global warming or having your kid beaten up when he goes to his first slumber party?

Jay Matsueda gives his friends Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth as birthday gifts. Because why ask people to rent a DVD when they can have their own petrochemical copy? After he gets a haircut, he puts the clippings out on his lawn for birds. In between collecting grass and twigs for nesting, evidently they like to do hair weaves.

And Jay also occasionally relieves himself on other people's lawns so he won't have to flush a toilet.

A big hearty cheer to Jay. And if he ever whips out his bits near my lawn, I'll show him how to take a free, low-impact shower.

(Via Alex Balk)

So, that movie about the yappy little lapdog trying to get in touch with its roots and develop a personality made fifteen million dollars over the weekend. Personally, I'm surprised, since I thought people were sick of Bush.


Dave said...

Funny post. The New York Times article didn't really explain what i'm doing. At only 31.5 lbs of trash for the year, I've limited my impact on the environment (I'm assuming that filling landfills is not a left/right issue is it) and passing on what I've learned to others (and learning from them). If any of your readers wants to get rid of their junk mail, there are free and paid for ways to do it on the blog at We can all agree that junk mail is a pain no.

Anyway, thanks for the funny sendup!

Consume Less, Conserve More!!!!


(and now feel free to have a field day)

RomanHans said...

Thanks, Dave!

My sister used to call me like twice a day and say I HAD to see An Inconvenient Truth. HAD to. Like my viewing that film would singlehandedly save a thousand polar bears.

I didn't understand why I had to: I mean, I live in a small apartment. No yard. No car. I recycle. I don't have ANY real lightbulbs. I'm thinking there's not much more that I can do.

After I see the film, my sister casually divulges that SHE STILL USES REGULAR LIGHTBULBS. She's so busy lecturing other people that she doesn't have time to save electricity herself.

In my experience, then, the real people who conserve do it quietly. It makes sense: I mean, if you have sex every night, you're not going to run screaming "I HAD SEX!" to the New York Times. And then there are the "environmentalists" who turn out to be clueless and/or just in it for the book deal, like No Impact Man. Which explains my skepticism.

Anyway, if you're sincere, my hearty applause. Keep it up, welcome to the club, and watch out for those swaying stacks of old Reader's Digests.