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no impact week – the eco-sabbath

orangeFor the final day, the Experiment said,

Take a break from everything.  Ohm Shanti.

Although it was a pretty laid-back day, I didn’t completely cut off from everything.  Took a little time on the computer to catch up with this blog and a couple of other things.  I let my alarm-clock radio play for a bit.  I used my espresso machine.

But I also left the house quiet, no tv, no music, no lights.   I read for a while, played with the animals, and took a walk.  I photographed some of the fall color, which I don’t expect to last much longer.  Our brief window of amazing.

I have taken away more than I expected from the week.  I’m thinking again about the impact-reducing things we have done, as well as the the things we haven’t.  I know where there is room for improvement, and I find myself being more careful – trying to use less water when washing dishes, turning off that other lamp, being more diligent about composting, unplugging, shutting off, slowing down.  Although I will continue to try and figure out the complicated web of sustainable food choice, I am going to try not to stress about it as much as I had been.  I have even greater appreciation for my bicycling, and the fact that I am physically able to to “drive” my bike.

I read this wonderful piece on “Driving by Bike” by the editor of Bicycling Magazine, Loren Mooney:

I could go on about how riding helps the environment by reducing carbon emissions and saves money on auto maintenance because those short trips are hardest on your car.  But in the end, the best reason to drive your bike is that it transforms the trip from another spell behind a steering wheel into, quite simply, a ride – a ride that, for all its utilitarian value, can be as fun and spontaneous and satisfying as any other.

So what now?  I don’t want to be like the leaves – a brief few days of brilliance, and then it’s over.  I want to stay inspired to keep working at this project.  I want to share, I want to participate, I don’t want to be one of the few bicycle commuters in our area, but one of the many.  I was thinking I need to have a No Impact Week once a year – as a reminder of all the things that are important to me, to renew my desire to make the changes, and to re-evaluate where I want to go.

But for now, I’m signing off to continue my quiet day, my eco-sabbath.

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