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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NH No Impact Week

As flowers begin to rise from the soil and birds make their presence increasingly known, springtime is markedly upon us. With the renewal of spring’s flora and fauna comes the renewal of everyday life. Garage sales burst forth with unwanted items, a season’s worth of dust is scooped up in spring cleaning affairs, and people begin unfurling from hibernation to explore the outdoors. The spring is a time for both new growth as well as simplification, which according to Leonardo DaVinci is, “the ultimate sophistication”.

This spring, a unique opportunity for increased simplification will be coming to New Hampshire residents. May 1-May 8 will mark “No Impact Week”, a week of giving up some of life’s excesses in an effort to find more time and energy to pursue the things that matter most. The week offers a new challenge each day, from finding creative ways to reduce and reuse on day two, to eating healthier, more locally-sourced food on day four.

For Aislinn Johnson, who tried a “No Impact Week” on her own last December, she finds the experience rewarding. “I took the No Impact Week experiment because I was concerned about the environmental effects of some of our deeply ingrained habits. The week was about much more than just conserving energy; it also made me realize that the hyper-consumptive way I was previously living wasn’t making me happy.”

The No Impact Week is being organized by Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) and is an original program of the No Impact Project. The week culminates in a challenge to “Give Back” to your community on May 7th and an encouragement to relax in an “Eco-Sabbath” on May 8th by spending a portion of Mother’s Day outdoors with Mother Earth.

Thus far, hundreds of individuals as well as community groups have already committed to trying NH No Impact Week, including several Girl Scout troops, youth environmental teams, local nonprofits, and even a school for hair design! Participants can sign up online and will be emailed an info packet with an explanation of how to do each day’s challenge.

Signing up occurs online at the No Impact Project website: http://noimpactproject.org/experiment/new-hampshire-no-impact-week. Additional details can also be found by visiting galacommunity.org.

The No Impact Week is a program of the No Impact Project and was conceived by Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, who lived with his family in Manhattan for one year without using electricity, producing trash, or purchasing anything but local food. This year brought on a surprising realization for them: that living simply wasn’t just good for the environment; it made them healthier, happier and richer in ways they’d never expected.

G.A.L.A. is a grassroots nonprofit with a mission to “translate sustainability education into local action that is practical, effective, and fun”. It convened as a group of people gathered around food and drink to discuss how they’d like to make their community a better place. Today, G.A.L.A. offers rewarding programs centered on sustainability education, individual action, and community enrichment.

For questions about the week or to get involved in a deeper way, Aislinn can be emailed at Aislinn@galacommunity.org or visitwww.galacommunity.org


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