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