Green Living: On the Edge of Changes
The protection of the environment includes a number of measures that should be adopted to lower the destructive impact of human activity on the nature. There should be mentioned the following: restriction of gas emissions into an air in order to improve the overall world situation; establishment of green locations and national parks in order to save the living beings verity; limitation of the waste; and avoidance of fishing and hunting with the purpose to maintain species that could be consumed. Some recommendations cannot be met by an ordinary citizen. However, everyone can contribute to the protection of the planet by monitoring the results of the vital activity and striving for producing a minimal impact on the environment. This research has a practical orientation and focuses on exploring the possibilities of personal care to protect the environment, studying the actual private impact, and developing available recommendations to go greener. Each person must responsibly relate to his / her lifestyle and try to have less impact on the nature because pollution can lead to an imminent environmental disaster.
No Impact Man
The documentary No Impact Man based on real events in 2009 remains in the center of our attention because of its uniqueness and single-mindedness of the main characters. Living in Manhattan, the Beavan family decides to conduct a one year experiment to reduce its impact on the environment. It decided to live without electricity and create no waste (including toilet paper), trying not only to take some vitally important products, but also to give back to the world. The film focuses on their attempt to overcome all the difficulties, not only physical but also moral, on the way to implement this project.
The movie explores the five issues that relate to reducing the impact on the environment. They are as follows: transport, electricity, food, paper, and domestic appliances (chemistry, natural diapers and etc.). It was a difficult decision because it required great endurance and courage. If a person has decided to follow the green way of life, he/she should not stop despite the numerous doubts and the reaction of others. Many humans are not able to overcome greed or laziness, so they do not want to change their habits and make fun of those who decide to live in harmony with the environment.
First of all, Colin Beavan, his wife and daughter during the experiment refused from all kinds of transport that pollute the atmosphere. They refused from cars, buses, and planes and walked a lot. Colin’s wife was upset because of inability to fly somewhere to rest. As a result, the whole family could not go far from home. Secondly, Beavans did not use electrical appliances that consume energy. As an example, they used two large pots with wet earth instead the refrigerator to cool food and took ice at their neighbors. Thirdly, they consumed only organic food that is grown and produced by the local farmers near their place of residence. It included mostly vegetables and fruits. The family rarely ate dairy produce taken at farms. The food scraps were processed into compost by worms in the kitchen. In addition, Colin refused from any paper to save the trees. He refused from subscriptions to magazines and newspapers. Moreover, the members of the family bought products without paper packaging, which causes overpayment and harms nature. Finally, Beavans avoided most of the household appliances that cause contamination (e.g. detergents pollute the water). The washing powder was not used, and baking soda was taken instead of toothpaste. All those measures led to a healthier life and reduced the amount of waste as well. Thus, they tried to contribute environmental protection movement and to become an example to follow for a lot of people all over the world.
Personal Carbon Footprint
The discussed film made us reflect on the personal responsibility for the protection of nature. It was decided to calculate our carbonic footprint and determine the necessary measures to low the impact. Thus, we try to follow the health life style: use transport when it is necessary, not to eat a lot of meat (animal products harm the environment more than car exhaust), avoid additional heating, separate different types of waste for recycling when it is possible, etc. It gives positive results.
The most part of the behavior breakdown takes some energy. It is important because I do not have an opportunity to create the living conditions on my own. For saving time, I am also forced to use transport. It is totally impossible to abandon it being a part of the modern civilization. I try to reduce the number of garbage, but I am not able to use only organic products. Therefore, I try to contribute to the environmental conservation as much as possible within my living conditions.
My behavior breakdown is lower than the national average rate. It includes 10 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Thus, it is more than two and a half times less than the common Americans index, which equals 27 tones each year per person. However, I produce two times more carbon than the average level in the world is fixed (5.5 tones). The number of my trips (25.3%) and flights is a half from the conventional indicators (43.5%). I use the possibility of recycling (8.2%) two times better than most of Americans (4.4%). It should be noted that I exceed the U.S. average rate (36.8%) by one-third in the energy consumption at home (53.7%). Thus, in general, in comparison with other indexes, I am greener than most of my neighbors.
Green Living Quiz Approach
The quiz is one of the best and the most effective ways of gathering and evaluating factual information. Passing sixteen questions, I found myself on the second stage of moving to a greener life. Thus, I have the following result: “28-39: You have reached the Sapling Level. You certainly have a commitment to a greener society, and you’re taking reasonable steps to do your part. However, you probably think you can do more, and you are right!” (“How Green are You?”).
I highlighted a support of the waste management policy as far as possible. It is sensible to use natural lightning, energy saving lamps and certain types of devices. A reasonable implementation of a thermostat, the limitation of bath time and the efficient use of water in a kitchen is stressed. I prefer eating organic food if it is available.
Unfortunately, I cannot avoid using toxic household cleaners because they are not expensive and very effective; there is no opportunity to use a good water filtration system (thus I am forced to buy water in plastic bottles), but I drink top water instead of bottled or recycle it; any type of transport is used to travel because of the cash limitations; and a good-isolated dwelling is impossible at the moment as well as the private house with the green conditions. For these reasons, my results are not excellent, but they are better than nothing because I only start my way to a better life in harmony with the environment.
Reaction on the Researched Materials
Opinion on the Documentary
The film made a deep impression on me. Firstly, I sincerely supported the protagonist and his family. Secondly, I repeatedly thought about things that could be adopted from Colin. In addition, the movie shows the problems faced by people who decided to change their lives radically. They are the followings: a lack of understanding of surrounding people; psychological stress due to the need to refuse from some common things, including food; a rejection of a normal life, a threat of informational isolation, etc.
The discussed documentary forced me to focus on the following advantages of the new lifestyle: the family values, including the mutual efforts and support on a way to the common goal; the promotion of healthy conditions through the vegetarian diet and heightened activity; the protection of the environment on a personal level. I have no doubts that the Beavans’ experience is priceless because it shows that there are many things from which a human can opt or reduce their influence on the private health and protection of nature.
Ways to Decrease Carbon Footprint / Improve Green Living
My results in carbon footprint could be identified as satisfactory. However, I should take steps to heat and cool a house more efficiently, install more operative lightening, and not to use electricity when unnecessary. Using organic food can improve green living, but it is expensive. Thus, a balanced diet should be developed. The food scraps must be composted to enrich a ground.
Every person cannot only take from the nature, but should give something to it as well. The trees reduce the level of carbon in the atmosphere. Therefore, the creation of green locations can partially compensate human pollution. It is important to grow as many trees and other green plants as possible in order to preserve the nature. Moreover, it gives an opportunity to use as much paper as needed without doing harm to the forests (“How does Using Paper Lead to More Trees?”).
Study of Quiz Results
I think that the results of the quiz show that there are a lot of things that could be done to follow the green living concept. I have done the first step. Thus, it is a goal to move forward. There are several measures that I suppose to take for improving the situation. For example, I can use natural cleaners prepared from vinegar, soda, and a lemon. The grandparents of my friend hold a farm not far from the city. For this reason I am going to improve relations with them to buy fresh vegetables, fruit, bread, and protein food. In the nearest time I want to buy my neighbor’s bicycle to travel to short distances; I also try to walk a lot with my friends rather than take a bus. I dream to buy a private house in the future and use renewable power such as wind or solar. Thus, I could improve the healthy life conditions and promote the green living style.
The great changes could begin from one man or a single family. Partial refusal from the amenities makes it possible to extend the life time of all mankind and to conserve natural resources. Among the main measures that make a positive impact on the protection of nature are the following: to keep moderation in diet and use principally organic food; to refuse from the wasteful types of transport; to save fresh water and electricity; to replace the toxic cleaning products for the natural ones. Unfortunately, the following recommendations could be expensive or non-conventional for an individual, which will inevitably lead to his / her drop out of the social system. However, some changes must be adopted by everyone. From my point of view, this way of life should be supported and encouraged at the state level. This study proves that the world should be protected by the general efforts and everyone can contribute this process.