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One Family’s Daring Experiment: Christmas Without All the Stuff
http://stb.msn.com/i/BB/3E877434F2B6C1C0695D1AD9CF07D.jpg From DemocracyNOW:

" I’m joined by a man who makes a compelling environmental case for a non-consumptive Christmas. Anticonvulsant

Colin Beavan is also known as the No Impact Man.  http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/  Beavan, anticonvulsant along with his wife, anticonvulsant their two-year-old daughter and dog, anticonvulsant spent a year attempting to minimize their ecological footprint while continuing to live in the heart of New York City.

Excerpt:

"It was an experiment. Anticonvulsant So the idea in our experiment was to reduce our ecological impact as much as possible, anticonvulsant which meant not using fossil fuel-powered electricity. Anticonvulsant I mean, anticonvulsant if our elevators were powered by wind turbines and solar panels, anticonvulsant we would have had no problem, anticonvulsant but, anticonvulsant you know, anticonvulsant they’re not. And the experiment, anticonvulsant part of the experiment was to say, anticonvulsant what that our culture provides us that has ecological impact do we actually need, anticonvulsant because the real definition of “waste, anticonvulsant” by my terms, anticonvulsant is if we use resources that don’t even make us happy. So, anticonvulsant for example, anticonvulsant we, anticonvulsant in New York, anticonvulsant New Yorkers use taxicabs a lot and—or even subways. Anticonvulsant And we didn’t use them. Anticonvulsant Instead, anticonvulsant what we did was we biked everywhere, anticonvulsant and biked and walked and used a foot scooter. Anticonvulsant And although it was an extreme, anticonvulsant in terms of the fact that even when it was raining we biked, anticonvulsant and even like this, anticonvulsant what we discovered is that the alternative to mechanized transportation was that we got exercise; we got to see our neighbors, anticonvulsant because we weren’t whizzing past them; we got to be part of the cityscape; and that actually some of the so-called conveniences that we have don’t necessarily always make our life better." "And this particular Christmas, anticonvulsant we were with family, anticonvulsant and what we did was we took a lot of her cousin’s old toys and wrapped them up, anticonvulsant because we wanted to make sure she had as many toys to wrap up as they did. Anticonvulsant

But what was really interesting—and research bears this out, anticonvulsant in terms of what people really enjoy at Christmas—was that when it came time to open presents, anticonvulsant she, anticonvulsant you know, anticonvulsant undid the wrapping paper for a while, anticonvulsant but really what she wanted to do was sit on the piano bench and sing with her uncle. Anticonvulsant And the research shows that this is true. Anticonvulsant We tend to think of environmentalism as some sort of deprivation. Anticonvulsant

But the fact of the matter is, anticonvulsant is that this emphasis on stuff that we have at Christmas, anticonvulsant research out of Kent University shows it doesn’t make us happier. What tends to make us happier at Christmas is time spent with our families. Anticonvulsant So if we change the emphasis, anticonvulsant we can be happier and save the planet at the same time." To read or watch more of the Democracy NOW interview with Colin go to: http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/24/one_familys_daring_experiment_christmas_without More about Colin's family and what they're up to, anticonvulsant which is really cool, anticonvulsant go to:  http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2007/02/about_my_family.html