Last week, Penelope Green of the New York Times wrote a story about a family in Manhattan that is spending the next year in an experiment to see just how “green” they can be. Among the more sensational (or is that salacious?) parts of the experiment is that the family will forgo paper products, including toilet paper.
There’s a serious message here. This family of three (a couple and their two-year-old) is trying to tread on the planet as lightly as possible. In my eyes, these guys have guts. They’re giving up any transportation that uses carbon-based fuel (which includes all public transportation) and they’re only eating organic food that was grown within 250 miles of their home. And that’s only the start.
I just saw Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” a few weekends ago, and I get the message loud and clear. But while I contemplate what it will be like to have to plug my television in every night because I unplugged it earlier in the day to save electricity, this family is putting action to the issue.
Now, then, why would you imagine that Colin Beavan, the man who is leading his family through this experiment, would be catching so much flack on his blog, No Impact Man? In today’s entry, Colin answers his critics.
Still, I can’t imagine why anyone would expend the energy to criticize Colin, his family and their experiment. If you don’t believe in global warming, or you think tree huggers are all nuts, then move along. Why take the time to slam the guy?
But that’s the way our world works, isn’t it? People stick their noses in places where they don’t belong, then everyone else gets upset, and the next thing you know, it’s war. Of course there are some exceptions, but if this family wants to stop using toilet paper, or if someone wants to worship a higher power in their own way, or if a same-sex couple wants to enter into a legally binding life partnership, then let them. As long as no one is getting hurt, then the people who get their panties in a twist over these things should take up a new hobby so they don’t have so much spare time on their hands.
Of course, upon reflection, I have to wonder why I get in a twist about people who get in a twist. If things were turned around, and it was a man and his family who decided to leave every single appliance in their home turned on while always leaving their cars running, day and night, how would I react? Would I slam him on his Web site then?