Home > architecture, Austin, low-impact, sustainability > time to go low impact

time to go low impact

i just read a few posts from a new blog titled No Impact Man. it’s a truly admirable endeavor – No Impact Man is attempting to be the human equivalent of a net zero energy home. it’s a one year experiment taking place within NYC, making it particularly challenging. being a self-professed enviro-hippie, i’m generally the one within my group of friends leading the more environmentally friendly lifestyle. i ride my bike and the bus, try to buy organic, have switched most of our lights to CFLs, recycle (with 3 bins every week, the most on our block), and have started a compost. those are nice baby steps, but i still drive our car (there’s really no way not to in austin), still have some incandescent bulbs burning, leave electronic components on too long, and use paper towels way too much.

despite the fact that i’ll be graduating this may with a masters in architecture specializing in sustainable design, and knowing full well the lengths to which i can go to decrease the size of my ecological footprint, i’ve held back from making any type of large scale commitment to changing my way of life. i’ve generally felt that technology will take care of the majority of society’s environmental ills since technology is what created them (this sentence could very well produce loads of comments decrying my naivete, but at some point in the future i’ll post in depth on my view – it’s not as naive as it sounds and is much more generalist). it’s been my belief that new methods of energy production and product development will come around and create a more cradle-to-cradle approach to life cycle costing. i also have felt that any real change requires active participation and change from the ground up, meaning that we, the everyday joes, have to re-evaluate many of the conveniences of our modern lifestyles. the only problem for me is that i’ve kind of plateaued with the items i’ve listed above. so now it’s time for me to take it to the next level and really commit to some serious change. it will definitely be slow, but i’m looking to make many of these changes life-long.

as this is going to be a huge endeavor (one that i have yet to discuss w/ my wife, as it will surely affect her), i have created a new section of my blog dedicated to tracking this change. unfortunately, wordpress.com doesn’t allow posting in additional pages, so that page will merely link to all posts tagged low-impact. hopefully some of my family, friends, or random visitors will take this initiative to heart as well and also change some of their habits.

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