Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Low Impact Week Contest question

Low Impact Week: June 1 - 7, 2007Congratulations! You survived Low Impact Week!

Now what? Well, I'm running myself a little contest.

Here are the rules again for those that didn't see the first announcement. At the end of this post, there is a question regarding Low Impact Week. You have until Monday, June 11th (5:00 pm PST) to post your answer. In a truly not so objective manner, I'll choose the answer that I like the most. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, June 12th.

So, what does this person win? Well, let me tell you... it's a care package of sorts to help send you on your way and continue doing some of the things you started during Low Impact Week:

  • Package of CFL bulbs
  • Lowflow showerhead
  • Reusable produce bags
  • 100% recycled plastic kitchen garbage bags
  • EcoDent toothbrush with replaceable head
  • Organic natural soap

Also, don't forget that I'll be announcing another challenge mid-June so as to take advantage of the momentum we've built up. For those who can't stand the suspense, here's a hint: it will have something to do with what we're currently reading in the book club.

And, here's my question:

"What did you like most about Low Impact Week and why?"

Good Luck!


QT said...

It gave me the push I needed to take a few things to the next level. And once I did them, I realized they weren't really that hard to integrate.

Anonymous said...

I liked feeling like I can be a better person, a better caretaker of my part of the world. After many years of lazy habits, and many months of trying to change, low impact week (as with similar ‘checks’ on my behavior) helped keep me honest and put me firmly on track. I used the week to really look hard at my habits without excuses instead of taking my too-frequent ‘just this once’ cop out – so that I did not throw away any recyclable trash ‘just this once,’ or leave the computer on overnight ‘just this once,’ or drive half a mile for a newspaper ‘just this once.’ I also tried to work harder at some of my grandmother’s depression techniques, compacting my weekly trash into a tiny bundle, sleeping and rising with the sun, trying to reconnect with natural cycles. It provided a timely reminder of how really easy it is to make small changes if I am thoughtful, and how easy it is to slip if I forget to care. It is good to feel like a responsible human being.

Phelan said...

I was able to confess my sins, and see where I am lacking.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the help. I have been one that has always wanted to "do the right thing", but have been stymied as to how. Beyond recycling, I'm lost.

Reading the practical suggestions from all the participants was inspiring and educational. I was grateful for the "leg up" (so to speak) because in reinforced that, while individual action is good, community support of that action is necessary.

Joanna said...

I posted my reflections on the week on my blog because it was getting kind of long, and I wanted my regular readers to be encouraged as well. Thanks for the idea for the week!

Anonymous said...

I was reintroduced to two old friends who I've been ignoring for some decades ... my legs. They still work, insert angel choir here, and I have a new appreciation for them. I began taking the bus to work and walking home. Walking. And besides being low impacty, I discovered that nearly everything I could ever want or need is along the way. Who knew? :) There's an old guy giving music lessons in a tiny shop, a pub I didn't know existed, the library, the food co-op, and offices for three of the five bills I currently mail out. Of all the things I did, which was more than I thought and not nearly enough, forming the habit of self-propelling was probably the biggest for me. :) (former lurker)

Anonymous said...

Like I said before I caught your blog a little late and missed your challenge, but I did write an entry about your blog becuase I was so inspired by the number of people you have inspired.

Don't worry I am going to take the challenge with some gals from my book club.

Thanks again

Ananda Devika said...

My favorite part of Low Impact Week? Hmmm...there were definitely more than one!
1.) Enjoying the elements: I normally hate "weather" - I don't like wind, I don't like rain...but this week, I listened to the rain outside my window and knew it was nurturing my new veggie garden; I watched as the winds dried my clothes on the clothesline we installed this week. I also ran outside this week for exercise, instead of using my trusty treadmill. It was windy, but warm and sunny and I got to see parts of the neighborhood I've never seen.
2.) Talking to others about LIW: I also enjoyed the chance to educate people through my actions. I used a cloth handtowel at work and was asked about it by a couple of co-workers. My husband tolerated my actions at first, but even he became curious and asked questions about recycling and local foods.
3.) Eating close to home: Speaking of local foods, we tried a lot more varieties of local produce and meat than we had in the past. I got to check out a new area farmer's market sponsored by a community garden, which I'm considering volunteering for. I learned a lot from others, and I think they learned a little from me, as well.
4.) Awareness: This week made me acutely aware of all the conveniences we take for granted - I didn't realize just how many miles I drive per week, how much trash I produce, how wasteful I am with food. Now that my eyes are opened a little wider, I plan to do my best to keep them open and continue on this low-impact path...

P~ said...

Hmmm.. I'm gonna have to think on this one. I liked a lot of things this week, but most??

Beautifully put.

cm said...

I already try to do many of the Low Impact suggestions - buying local produce at the green market, bringing my own bags when shopping, avoiding meat, bringing leftovers to work for lunch in old cottage cheese cups. But my favorite part of LIW was the push that made me realize I can do more. I aimed to reduce the number of plastic bags and throw-away take out containers I used. Although I didn't manage to net a zero in these areas for the week, I did reduce (including NO plastic food containers in the trash). Last Saturday I planned ahead and brought a canvas bag plus several plastic sacks when I did my shopping, and although I underestimated and had to use 3 new sacks from the farmer's market - which I felt pretty bad about - I realized that I saved a bunch of bags throughout the day. I know I can't be perfect, but making the extra effort through LIW helped me inch toward having a lesser negative effect on the environment.

Anonymous said...

"Low Impact Week Leads Woman To Low Impact Life", Says Texas woman of her life-changing, low-impact experience, "Well, it's funny, 'cuz I never really knew how much I was missin', I guess, until I gave it all up. You know, one of the things I love about Texas is all of the wide open spaces. Now I feel like I've got some of those in my life, too--and for the first time, in probably a very long time, I feel like I can finally breathe."

Anonymous said...

I have shared my answer to the question and my gratitude to Crunchy Chicken for setting this up on my blog. Definitely looking forward to what she has in store for us in mid-June!

Anonymous said...

I have to say the thing that I loved most about low impact week was getting inspired, and through that proccess, inspiring others. When I first heard about this, I got so excited that I started making plans, and telling all of my friends about how it was going to be really fun and they should do it. In the end only a few took part in low-impact week, but the important thing is that even if not everyone I told decided to take part, they still listened. Maybe they even got an idea or two. In the end, inspiration still snuck into all the people who couldn't do low impact week. Just telling them, and making them consider the possibilites it presented was enough.

Marianna said...

Simply making myself ever more aware of what we are using, and how we can alter that. Low impact week also gave me the push I had been needing to put healthier food on the table at lunch, and thereby honor myself and children with the quality of food we deserve!

oopuy said...

For me, Crunchy, Low Impact Week was less about the motions and actions and more about the community and support. What I liked best was seeing people support each other--the sharing of a common goal, the motivation, the pats on the back when things weren't perfect. Sometimes I feel very alone in my love for the planet and environment. People "jokingly" call me "crazy," a "hippie," a "treehugger." They never say it 100% positively. Low Impact Week reminded me (like the inspirational days of college) that I have friends around the world who are part of my environment-loving family. And that, means the world to me.

Wendy Bredhold said...

Learning that there are rewards for green living beyond assuaging guilt or measuring footprints: community, authentic experience, freedom, and meaning.

Riding the bus and being forced to engage with people set a completely different tone for my day. I was livelier, happier, and friendlier.

Picking up my vegetables from the CSA, bantering with our farmer, chopping ingredients, and cooking is an infinitely more authentic experience than eating pizza in front of the tube.

Making and using my own homemade cleaning products frees me from chemical exposure and gratuitous consumerism.

Over the past 10 years, my husband and I had started to stray. Low Impact Week reminded us of the life we want to lead.

Skulleigh said...

I liked getting out and enjoying nature when I rode my bike in the evening instead of watching TV. I got to see birds, turtles, lizards, all kinds of butterflies and bees, listen to chickens cluck, and moo at a cow.

The thing I was able to do most consistently this week was to use a cloth to dry my hands instead of paper towels. Every time I did that, it was something solid that made a difference, no matter how small. And I know it helped the birds, turtles, lizards, butterflies, bees, chickens, and cows, at least a little bit.

There's a chorus in my head saying "Thank you!" :)

(If this posts twice, sorry - my browser seems to be acting up)

Jen said...

I guess it was about halfway through Low Impact Week that I got into it with my husband for going to the grocery, yet again, without the reusable bags and coming home with canned soup. I had been thinking that since he had agreed to help me, he should have to live by the rules I had set for myself and I was treating his misstep as I would've my own--like it ruined the entire project.
Something he said to me snapped me back, though. Nobody is going to want to change their impact if it only makes them miserable. It doesn't matter if you're miserable because of what you're giving up or if you're miserable because of what you've failed to give up.

Since that conversation, I've been able to look at what we've done rather than what we've failed to do. I didn't get the results I wanted, but I did learn how easy it was to lose focus on why I was doing it in the first place. Plus my husband came home Thursday night with his groceries in a cloth bag :)

Superficially, my favorite part was my daughter helping me to hang clothes to dry in the bedroom and the box she set up to save things to reuse in future projects.

Christy said...

I have 2 things I liked the most about Low Impact Week and really can’t pick just one. The first thing I liked the most was feeling like I belong to a community of people concerned about reducing their impact. I live in an upper-middle class suburban neighborhood surrrounded by other upper-middle class surburban neighborhoods. No one here is concerned with the environment or their impact. They are all concerned with who has the biggest house or the newest car or the trendiest clothes. My husband is one of the few people in this neighborhood that mows his own grass, most have those services that spray all sorts of chemicals in addition to doing the mowing. I’m the only one in the neighborhood with a vegetable garden, the neighbors all think I’m crazy. Because this is what I’m surrounded by everyday, I’ve been very depressed about the future. But being part of this community this last week has made me feel much more hopeful. I’ve realized there are people who care and are trying to reduce their impact. Reading what everyone did this week has been very inspirational.

The second thing I liked the most was having the chance to change my thought patterns. I think so much of life is done on auto-pilot, it makes change hard. Plastic bags are a good example for me, about a month ago I bought some reusable bags and have kept them in my car. Sometimes I remembered to bring them in and sometimes I didn’t. Most of the time when I forgot I realized I had forgotten them and asked for no bag. But a few times, I received my plastic bag, went home, and didn’t even realize I’d been handed a plastic bag until I was home unpacking it. It is such a habit to be handed those plastic bags that even when I didn’t want them I sometimes didn’t even notice I had one in my hand. Low Impact Week put all these issues into the front of my mind. I spent the week really thinking about everyone of my actions and the impact of that action as well as ways to reduce that impact. It is now habit to think about these things and I’m living a much more aware life. No more plastic bags will end up in my hands without me noticing. I was even able to kick my diet soda habit by keeping thoughts of my impact front in my mind!

just ducky said...

What did I like most about Low Impact Week and why? I like that I feel like a more responsible human being---not in a self-righteous "look at me, I'm so good" sort of way---just in a "I'm tired of consumerism running my family and I'm taking my life back" sort of way. I like that I've opened up my mind a little bit more---I actually bought 2 reusable cloth menstrual pads and a Diva Cup! Trust me when I say---that is soooooooo not who I was even 6 months ago. My poor husband is completely grossed out by the whole purchase---he told me that he envisions little blood droplets on the sink next to where he brushes his sacred teeth. I joked and told him that I was going to tie a string to the bottom of the Diva Cup and whirl it around my head while screaming "Whoopeeeeeeeeeeee!"

I also took a vacation day off of work last Monday and had my mother teach me how to sew! I spent my day making cloth napkins and handkerchiefs. I'm even contemplating using the smaller "scraps" of fabric for reusable toilet paper--that is still a mere contemplation at this point, but a really big step for me just to even ponder it.

I've totally done away with using disposable dishes/utensils/cups at work (although I started that a few weeks prior to Low Impact Week) and I actually catch myself thinking "should I really use a paper towel for this" and alot of times opting not to use them at work.

My husband is slow in joining the low impact party, but I don't push it on him. It's more a "lead by example" sort of thing. He was very excited about building a composter though. He finished that last weekend and is extremely proud of it! He is also incredibly excited about Freecycle and has already given away two things and received two things via the service.

We've made alot of other little changes as well (CFLs, recycling, etc) but I've made this post long enough as it is. My main goal was to not view this as "Low Impact Week" but to view it as making lasting changes that I know I can continue. If I viewed it as just for the week, I think I would have not taken the steps so seriously---that's just my way of viewing it though---I am in NO WAY knocking the Low Impact Week concept, as a matter of fact, I think it is awesome. I just know how my mind works and what I needed to do to get the job done for my family...which I think is the whole spirit of the exercise anyways.

But, the thing I think I really liked most is the fact that my kids are easily adapting and integrating these low impact practices. They truly just needed the example set, and when I did it--they did it and were excited to be helping the environment. It is opening up a whole new way of looking at the world for them---which in turn opens up a whole new way of looking at the world for me too.

P~ said...

I posted my favorite thing today.

To you all,
I love your responses. All such good points.

Lamzeydievey said...

I liked Low Impact Week because it finally gave me an excuse to do something that I've been wanting to do for a while.

We bought Crunchy Chickens!!!

Well they're not exactly crunchy yet but according to my 2 year old son who keeps saying he wants to "fry them and eat them with pancakes" they might be soon.

Once hens they will:
- Provide us with delicious nutrient rich fresh eggs for most of the next 2-3 years.
- After that they can go in the pot and provide us with good food there.
- They will make excellent natural pest control in the yard and garden.
- They will leave nitrogen rich droppings that can be composted and turned into wonderful dark soil which will go back into the garden, make my plants healthy and attract more bugs for them to eat! It really is a wonderful cycle.
- They will also provide hours of entertainment for my homeschooled children and teach them many useful lessons about responsibility, natural sciences and an appreciation for where our food comes from.

So that's it! Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

My favorite thing about Low Impact Week was that it got me looking closely at different areas of our life. I just assumed we were doing pretty good, until I was "forced" to look at each area.

We made several changes that really didn't hurt at all. We just hadn't thought of them as areas where we could conserve.

The conversation between blogs has been wonderful and I have enjoyed the input from such a variety of sources.


Anonymous said...

Last week helped me rediscover parts of myself that have been buried beneath motherhood, work and marriage for a long time. I feel like I got a chance to look at the way I am living life and decide if it fit any more. The answer was kind of shocking. Returning to vegetarianism, hanging laundry out to dry in the sun, and spending time painting with my little girl instead of watching Curious George was so much more rewarding than I ever would have guessed. The week helped inspire changes that will be with me for life and restored joy to some of the more mundane taks that make up my day.
Thank you!

Coach Paulette said...

The main thing I appreciated about participating in Low Impact Week was the fact that it made me move from the “thinking about it” phase to the “activity” phase. I tend to be overly analytical before making significant changes and this gave me the needed push to just get started and see how things worked out. It gave me the opening to be more creative in my thinking about low impact ideas as I approached my household and other activities each day. It spurred me in some cases go beyond my basic goals and straight to permanent changes, such as switching to cloth TP and ordering a Diva Cup (waiting for it to come in the mail as of today)! While we did not succeed 100% in all areas we had hoped, we have an overall feeling of success because we are at least getting started and doing something instead of nothing.

The educational value for my little girls was fantastic. Seeing us work as a family on some of the projects and gathering their input on ideas was priceless. I think that sometimes as mothers of small children we can easily get stuck in our day-to-day “rut” just because it is a known versus the unknown; it is easier to just do things as we’ve been doing them than to spend the mental energy on thinking outside the box. But stopping to take the time to explain some of the activities and actually listen with interest to the inputs of my 8 and 5 year old daughters (and the happy applause of my 20 month old daughter who loves the cloth wipes for her nose!) helps me as a mom to see how much “living the talk” makes a difference and impact on their young lives. To think that even a few small changes made this week can start them on the road to thinking of bigger and better things is what I think makes parenting so great! Thanks for the challenge and encouragement for those of us who needed a little nudge to step out and start making a difference!

Hannah said...

What a wonderful challenge you provided. Although I have considered playing along with one of the year-long challenges, I kept feeling highly intimidated. This was just perfect. And surprisingly, I found out that the readers of my blog, most of whom are knitters and spinners, were not only accepting of my daily Low Impact posts but actually interested!

The BEST thing about the week, though, was that you ended our breeding once and for all. Although my husband and I were persuaded more than 8 years ago by Bill McKibben's book _Only One_ that the easiest way to lower our footprint was to limit the number of children we gave birth to, we'd not done anything about it (except be careful). David was so excited about trying to come up with big things for your seventh issue of doing something more longterm that he decided to make an appointment for a vasectomy!

Aimee said...

being mindful in the little choices of my day...turning off the water sooner, watering the garden with the water that steamed my veggies, turning off lights and fans, playing more outside in the sunlight, and using my clotheslines all day every caused me to slllloooowww down and be a bit more intentional.

Meghan said...

Pretty much everyone that knows me already thinks I'm a little fruity. But bringing my own towel to work & collecting recyclables on the golf course really put some proof behind that thought. Now my co-workers know I'm fruity and appear to be a little frightened. This works out well for me, professionally. And it works out well for the earth. It's all beneficial! :):)

Dana said...

I waited until today to answer because I spent all weekend feeling depressed about the whole project. Partly because of my utter failure in the plastic shopping bag category, partly because even the successes don't seem to matter much in the overall scheme of things, partly because even being mindful I still waste so much, partly because I can't go without electricity and grow all my food...

But then I realized that my frustration was another symptom of the modern quick-fix mentality. I couldn't become the perfect environmentalist overnight, and even if I could, it wouldn't solve the problem, so I didn't want to do it at all. Now I am trying to let the difficulties of the week remind me that change is an organic process. It will turn out the best as I manage to slow down, pay attention to the community and world around me more than to myself, and live more and more in harmony with its natural cycles.

It IS hard to integrate all these changes consistently, but it also reminded me how important it is to make real changes, however small, instead of expecting to be able to buy my way out of irresponsibility and maintain the same lifestyle (carbon offsets, "green" gadgets galore, etc).

And there were some beautiful serendipitous moments: picking strawberries and spinach with friends; walking to the farmers' market and discovering that one farmer still had one unadvertised CSA share available; sitting on the back porch of a morning, reading with no lights or fans or a/c, revelling in the lightness of just being without consuming...