Saturday, October 2, 2010

My 100 Mile Super High Size Not Made in China Year of Living Biblically with no Garbage

Lifestyle experiments seem awfully popular these days. Why? I'm not sure, but I think that people are starting to notice that while the modern world offers many conveniences, there are one or two drawbacks, such as disconnection from one's community and the degradation of the earth's environment.

Here's a few, "I'm going to do this or not do that for a month/year" experiments:

Super Size Me: If not the originator of this sort of lifestyle experiment, definitely one of the first. Morgan Spurlock sees what happens to his body when he eats nothing but McDonald's for a month. It's not pretty.

Super High Me: The pot-smoking comic I mentioned before. Worth a watch if only to see just how funny and sad comics are, all at the same time.

The Year of Living Biblically: comic take on trying to follow the Bible as literally as possible for one year. Author A.J. Jacobs says he is Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is Italian. His wife isn't too happy about some of the rules. She sits on every chair in the house during a certain time of the month because she knows, according to the Bible, he won't be able to sit anywhere.

Slow Death by Rubber Duck: two Toronto enviro-dudes see what happens to their bodies when they expose themselves to the potentially toxic chemicals found in everyday products.

No Impact Man: Should really be called No Impact Family. For one year, a New York family try to have no net impact on the environment.

The 100 Mile Diet: Lower Mainland residents Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon eat only the food produced within a 100-mile radius of themselves for a year. They didn't realize how hard it would be until they figured out almost no one grows wheat in the Lower Mainland. A worldwide sensation. Sparked a local food movement that continues to this day.

 Green Garbage Project: American couple tries to go a year without throwing anything away.

A Year without "Made in China": American family tries to go a year without buying anything made in China

Makeshift: A Vancouver designer makes everything she needs to wear for one year. Doesn't sound tricky if you know how to sew, but she means everything: shoes, bras, underwear.

Here's a link to a list of 12 more (some repeats from my list): there's a year without plastic, a guy who keeps all his garbage for a year and takes photos of it, a woman who tries to go for a year without buying anything new.

The two that have inspired me most in taking on my modest experiment are The 100 Mile Diet and the Year of Living Biblically. (Took on the local aspect from one, the comic aspect from the other; you figure out which is which.) I can't say I have tons of lofty goals, but I do know that much of what I do every day is through habit. If nothing else, this year will give me lots of opportunity to examine my habits.