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Few people affect me more than the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir. Of these three I've been reading excerpts from Meditations of Henry David Thoreau: A Light in the Woods and I am constantly surprised at how relevant their words are to now. So much that it only furthers my belief that everything is connected, no matter who you are or what you believe.
On that note I bring to you Acorn & Chestnut by Thoreau, a meditation that especially stood out to me:
I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. What force has multitude? They only can force me to become like themselves. I do not hear of men being forced to live this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live? When I meet a government which says to me, "Your money or your life," why should I be in haste to give it my money? It may be in a great strait, and not know what to do: I cannot help that. It must help itself; do as I do. It is not worth the while to snivel about it. I am not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society. I am not the son of the engineer. I perceive that, when an acorn and a chestnut fall side by side, the one does not remain inert to make way for the other, but both obey their own laws, and spring and grow and flourish as best they can, till one, perchance, overshadows and destroys the other. If a plant cannot live according to it's nature, it dies; and so a man.-Vanessa
With the rapidly approaching new year it got me thinking about my impact and my hopes and dreams for 2010 (call it a New Year's resolution if you will). If I could go full 'no impact' I would but alas my lifestyle is too non-permanent to make it so. But I would like to devote next year to lessening my impact on this lovely planet, as close to no impact as possible. In fact, many people have already started their lessening with experiments such as No Impact Week hosted by Huffingtonpost.com. Playing largely off of Colin Beavan's story, Huffpost set out to help guide people through trying a no impact lifestyle. Though I do wish it were more open to those who can't make drastic changes like switching to non-carbon producing transportation, nevertheless, it is still a good insight into what 'no impact' is all about. It's not about buying the things we think make us happy or that we assume we need but about simplifying our lives and making the most important aspects of our lives -- family and friends -- a priority. And at the same time we're treating the planet with respect. Think of it as a golden rule between us and Mother Nature.
As a matter of fact the average American throws out about 4lbs of trash on a daily basis. We're the highest trash makers in the world. And half the crap isn't recycled, adding to the tons and tons of trash in our landfills. Everything we do today will affect tomorrow, be it good or bad. This is a reminder we should carry with us on a daily basis. The good thing is that 4,000 people have participated in No Impact Week and who knows how many more were already doing it. The smallest change can and will make a big difference.
With the holidays upon us we should also remember to keep our Christmas impact to a minimum, even if it means no gift giving. I know, it sounds terrible right? But is that truly what makes Christmas so joyous? The presents? Maybe it's the food and the time spent with family. At least that's what Beavan believes. He recently wrote an article on just that, a low impact Christmas, for Yes! magazine. Imagine the stress and money that would be saved by adopting this type of mentality. It shouldn't be so out of the ordinary to give gifts whenever we feel like it.
The decision to go "no impact" is life changing. One that many people are not willing to make, but sometimes doing is believing. And you never know; one spark could cause a domino effect of change. The question is: Are you willing to try it?
Just something to think about.
(update: I just found http://noimpactproject.org/ started by Colin Beavan. Check it out!)
I would embed the video if I could but the user disabled the code for this video. Nevertheless, here is the link to a BBC time-lapse video of some fantastic sea creatures and how they do things down under.
Check it out!
Check out the skill in this video Derek found.We collectively agreed that the people who created this are geniuses...
I wasn't sure what Atelic meant until I googled it. It's basically a word that describes an action or event as being incomplete. Makes sense, no?
I think if I ever encountered a leopard seal in the wild I would be much more terrified and hesitant than this guy. Just saying. Overall: amazing video. *dreamsofbeinganationalgeographicphotographer*
This Saturday is the International Day of Climate Action and 350.org is hoping to make a statement about their cause. 350.org is a movement started in large part by writer Bill McKibben and aims to bring CO2 output levels down to 350ppm (parts per million), which is considered by some scientists to be the safest level for long-term human survival. Check out their mission in video form:
There's a whole bunch of cool stuff surrounding this event worldwide. It's inspiring to see so many countries preparing to take part that I can't help but feel affected by it. The joining of people for a common goal is always uplifting, especially when their aim is carried out through positivity and hope. You can check out some of the things that'll be taking place this Saturday around the world here. And if you're interested in finding some events near you check out 350.org.
Another awesome site to check out is Hopenhagen.org. This movement, like 350.org, is aiming to affect the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December by bringing people together to demand positive change. Let them know what gives you hope.
Nature's beauty gives me hope.