No Impact Man

I just finished watching the documentary, No Impact Man. This man and his family tried to live “no impact” for a year. They had no electricity for 6 months, used cloth instead of toilet paper, and produced almost no trash in this time (this small list doesn’t even cover half of what they did). Just the dedication and optimism of this man amazed me. I try to do little things like use my Klean Kanteen instead of plastic bottles, use my Chico Bag at the grocery store when I can, and I ride my bike when the weather is good. This documentary made me realize that even with these little changes, the amount of waste humans produce is scary and disgusting. It is hard to make changes to that lifestyle and figuring it all out could take years in itself. I love this quote from the film: “The fact of the matter is that if only I change, it’s not going to make a difference, but the hope is that if each of us as individuals change, it’s going to inspire everybody to change. So I believe the most radical political act there is, is to be an optimist. The most radical political act there is, is to believe that if I change, other people will follow suit.” Towards the end of the film he talks about community and how things we do affect other people, not just us. It hit me that it’s true. So many people do things and say things and don’t think it is going to have an impact on anyone else but themselves. The truth is that everything we do has consequences.

Context

I was contemplating optimism and pessimism, and how many people classify others as optimistic or pessimistic based on whether they see the glass half full or half empty. Well, I was thinking that this statement is possibly pretty inaccurate because it is taken out of any context whatsoever. For example, if I pour myself half a glass of juice, I will consider the glass half full, because I just filled it. But if I pour myself a full glass of juice and then drink half of it, I will see the glass as half empty, because I just emptied it part of the way. In this case, optimism and pessimism are totally irrelevant. I suppose if you see a random half glass of liquid sitting somewhere and don’t know if it has been filled or emptied, one may be able to determine your outlook on life.