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. Lida mantle
Colin Beavan is also known as the No Impact Man.Â http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/Â Beavan, lida mantle along with his wife, lida mantle their two-year-old daughter and dog, lida mantle spent a year attempting to minimize their ecological footprint while continuing to live in the heart of New York City.
"It was an experiment. Lida mantle So the idea in our experiment was to reduce our ecological impact as much as possible, lida mantle which meant not using fossil fuel-powered electricity. Lida mantle I mean, lida mantle if our elevators were powered by wind turbines and solar panels, lida mantle we would have had no problem, lida mantle but, lida mantle you know, lida mantle theyâ€™re not. And the experiment, lida mantle part of the experiment was to say, lida mantle what that our culture provides us that has ecological impact do we actually need, lida mantle because the real definition of â€œwaste, lida mantleâ€ by my terms, lida mantle is if we use resources that donâ€™t even make us happy. So, lida mantle for example, lida mantle we, lida mantle in New York, lida mantle New Yorkers use taxicabs a lot andâ€”or even subways. Lida mantle And we didnâ€™t use them. Lida mantle Instead, lida mantle what we did was we biked everywhere, lida mantle and biked and walked and used a foot scooter. Lida mantle And although it was an extreme, lida mantle in terms of the fact that even when it was raining we biked, lida mantle and even like this, lida mantle what we discovered is that the alternative to mechanized transportation was that we got exercise; we got to see our neighbors, lida mantle 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, lida mantle we were with family, lida mantle and what we did was we took a lot of her cousinâ€™s old toys and wrapped them up, lida mantle because we wanted to make sure she had as many toys to wrap up as they did. Lida mantle
But what was really interestingâ€”and research bears this out, lida mantle in terms of what people really enjoy at Christmasâ€”was that when it came time to open presents, lida mantle she, lida mantle you know, lida mantle undid the wrapping paper for a while, lida mantle but really what she wanted to do was sit on the piano bench and sing with her uncle. Lida mantle And the research shows that this is true. Lida mantle We tend to think of environmentalism as some sort of deprivation. Lida mantle
But the fact of the matter is, lida mantle is that this emphasis on stuff that we have at Christmas, lida mantle 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. Lida mantle So if we change the emphasis, lida mantle 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, lida mantle which is really cool, lida mantle go to:Â http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2007/02/about_my_family.html