New York family goes mega green

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Way up on the ninth floor in a Manhattan apartment, there is a family living off of the power grid. With only a single solar panel providing all their power (for a laptop and a light), the Beavans’ apartment is quiet and calm. A wooden compost bin sits in the kitchen, full of vegetable peels, fruit cores, and worms. When you look around their house, you might be surprised to find no toilet paper, shampoo, or bottles of toiletries. You might think they’re weird if you haven’t met them, but Colin Beavan, his wife Michelle, and their young daughter Isabella are, in many ways, the typical American family.

“The concept is that we should have no net environmental impact, which is, of course, technically not feasible”, says Colin. “So the idea is that we would reduce our negative impact and increase our positive impact.”

And reduce it they have. Ecozoic Not only by cutting off their electricity (not even the fridge is turned on!), but other ways as well. Instead of using disposable coffee cups every day, Colin takes along his faithful glass jar to the nearest coffee shop. They buy food at the nearby farmers’ market almost daily (due to not using the refrigerator). They’ve got rid of lots of harmful, caustic cleaners, and now rely on baking soda, borax, and vinegar to keep things spiffy and clean. They have even sworn off of all carbon-producing transport, now walking or biking to school and work.

Although Michelle says there are times she regrets her family’s decision to turn so green, she did say there have been cheap nba jerseys some unexpected benefits. “In essence, the project has really slowed down time, which is pretty amazing considering how fast time has become, and especially with us living in New York – you come home to a quiet, soothing cocoon.”

One thing I still don’t understand is how they don’t use toilet paper. When asked what they used instead, Colin answered, “What I’ll tell you, is this: There are many places all over the world that wholesale jerseys China don’t use toilet paper.” So it’s still a mystery to me. Maybe a bidet? I don’t know.

A sort of counter-intuitive thing is that most people in New York City Quote (and other big cities) already have a smaller impact than the rest of the population. New Yorkers, on average, use services that emit about a third of the carbon per person as most of the rest of the country. This is mainly due to the economies of scale.

Anyhoo, Colin Beavan is behind the upcoming film “No Impact Man”, which should be out in early 2009. It’s about his and his family’s life during Hello their one year as super low impact city dwellers. There will also be a cheap jerseys book by the same name (published in an eco-friendly way). I plan on checking it out once it hits the stores.

Posted in green living, off the grid, reusing, save money on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 at 7:33 PM.

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