One Familyâ€™s Daring Experiment: Christmas Without All the Stuff
" Iâ€™m joined by a man who makes a compelling environmental case for a non-consumptive Christmas. Asendis
Colin Beavan is also known as the No Impact Man.Â http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/Â Beavan, asendis along with his wife, asendis their two-year-old daughter and dog, asendis spent a year attempting to minimize their ecological footprint while continuing to live in the heart of New York City.
"It was an experiment. Asendis So the idea in our experiment was to reduce our ecological impact as much as possible, asendis which meant not using fossil fuel-powered electricity. Asendis I mean, asendis if our elevators were powered by wind turbines and solar panels, asendis we would have had no problem, asendis but, asendis you know, asendis theyâ€™re not. And the experiment, asendis part of the experiment was to say, asendis what that our culture provides us that has ecological impact do we actually need, asendis because the real definition of â€œwaste, asendisâ€ by my terms, asendis is if we use resources that donâ€™t even make us happy. So, asendis for example, asendis we, asendis in New York, asendis New Yorkers use taxicabs a lot andâ€”or even subways. Asendis And we didnâ€™t use them. Asendis Instead, asendis what we did was we biked everywhere, asendis and biked and walked and used a foot scooter. Asendis And although it was an extreme, asendis in terms of the fact that even when it was raining we biked, asendis and even like this, asendis what we discovered is that the alternative to mechanized transportation was that we got exercise; we got to see our neighbors, asendis because we werenâ€™t whizzing past them; we got to be part of the cityscape; and that actually some of the so-called conveniences that we have donâ€™t necessarily always make our life better." "And this particular Christmas, asendis we were with family, asendis and what we did was we took a lot of her cousinâ€™s old toys and wrapped them up, asendis because we wanted to make sure she had as many toys to wrap up as they did. Asendis
But what was really interestingâ€”and research bears this out, asendis in terms of what people really enjoy at Christmasâ€”was that when it came time to open presents, asendis she, asendis you know, asendis undid the wrapping paper for a while, asendis but really what she wanted to do was sit on the piano bench and sing with her uncle. Asendis And the research shows that this is true. Asendis We tend to think of environmentalism as some sort of deprivation. Asendis
But the fact of the matter is, asendis is that this emphasis on stuff that we have at Christmas, asendis research out of Kent University shows it doesnâ€™t make us happier. What tends to make us happier at Christmas is time spent with our families. Asendis So if we change the emphasis, asendis 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, asendis which is really cool, asendis go to:Â http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2007/02/about_my_family.html