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Join Me for the No Impact Week Challenge

Take part in a week-long project to learn about your environmental footprint and reduce what you use and buy.
 
 
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Next week I'm going to be participating in a little bit of an ecological/social experiment and I'm hoping you'll join me. By now you've likely heard about 'No Impact Man' Colin Beavan. Along with his wife and daughter, Colin and his family embarked on a year-long project to try to minimize their impact on the environment -- this included eating only local food (which meant no eating out and no coffee); only pedaling or walking to their destinations; not buying stuff, including no more clothes shopping or purchasing cleaning products from the store; no producing trash; and for about half of the year, not using electricity in their home (which was a New York City apartment).

Their project was a blog, a book and then a movie. And now, it's a challenge to us. For just one week you can participate in a modified version of Colin and his family's year-long adventure. There are a full set of instructions, here. But I'll run through the basic premise. I'll also be participating myself and blogging about the ups and downs of my week and I'd encourage you to do the same.

The week-long project, which is in partnership with the Huffington Post, starts on Sunday (October 18) and each day throughout the week a new concept is added -- so don't worry, you won’t have an abrupt lifestyle change all at once. Here's the basic plan: Sunday is consumption, Monday is trash, Tuesday is transportation, Wednesday is food, Thursday is energy, Friday is water, and on the weekend you are to spend one day as a day of volunteering in your community and one as an eco-Sabbath -- a time to unplug from everything.

If this sounds a little overwhelming, take a read through this guide -- it details how to do things step by step and helps provide tips and resources. The most important point of all this is not to see how much you can give up or get rid of in a week, but to actually stop and think for a little bit about your footprint on the environment and the resources that you are using. The project isn't really about eco-extremism but about asking people to be conscious of their impact. And for one week that sounds pretty manageable, right? Here's where you can sign up.

I'd love to hear from you if you are taking part. You can email me throughout the challenge at tara@alternet.org and let me know if I can share your thoughts and experiences with our readers.

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet.

 
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