No Impact Project Experiment

Event Details

No Impact Project Experiment

Time: April 18, 2010 at 12am to April 25, 2010 at 12am
Location: Contra Costa County
Website or Map:
Event Type: community, engagement
Organized By: Sheila Hill
Latest Activity: Apr 22, 2010

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Event Description

Please participate in the upcoming No Impact Project Experiment the week of April 18th. This one-week carbon cleanse is a chance for you to see what a difference no-impact living can have on your quality of life. It’s not about giving up creature comforts but an opportunity for you to test whether the modern “conveniences” you take for granted are actually making you happier or just eating away at your time and money.

Joining is simple! Visit and click How It Works for step-by-step instructions and download our How-To Manual for day-by-day guidelines. Watch inspiring videos from past participants about their lessons from the week and what motivated them to try it.

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Comment by Rob McKie on April 22, 2010 at 5:39pm
If you haven't already, check out the comments on the No Impact Network. Here's my last post:

Day 5 - Energy
I went through our house and surveyed the powered or gas-fired items. Not including lights, I found 24 plugged in things, 2 gas-fired, 5 battery-device chargers, and 3 battery powered devices. Most of these are off (meaning unplugged) all the time except when specifically in use.

I found a few things I could easily turn off or do without: unplugged the coffeemaker, range lights and clock (doesn't work anyway, but the transformer probably drew a little power), put the microwave on a plug strip, removed a battery-powered clock from the living room, turned off a powered speaker (which was normally on all the time) switched off the DVD/screen plug strip which also powers a laptop/charger. Lights in the house are off all day as no one is there. So this is 8 items we mitigated or omitted--not ideal, but it's a start.

Some of the things I don't think I can live without are the refrigerator, washer, range, a couple of clocks, and lighting (our house has poor natural light, unfortunately). The phones and chargers are also a pretty high priority, though we do keep the chargers unplugged when not in use. We have only one home land line phone but it draws a little power all the time. The refrigerator, 5 clocks (including one battery powered), and the thermostat are the only items which need to be on all the time and we are pretty consistent in keeping things off when not in use (now that I have remedied a few offending items listed above). The dryer I can live without and though we don't need to do wash today, I think we will start transitioning to clothesline use.

For today and the rest of the week, we will try to use no powered lighting (we already have a lot of candles) and reduce the heating by at least 1/2. Since I am the most committed to the experiment in my household (there's 4 of us), I expect there will be some discussion about these energy saving measures, but we will see how it works out.
Comment by Rob McKie on April 21, 2010 at 5:49pm
Resource Letter for Central Contra Costa County
I hope the week is progressing well. I’ve assembled some info to assist in the week and beyond to help reduce your impact. Please download the attached file to find the information.
As a way to memorialize the experiment and Earth week 2010, we plan to host an informal house party/dinner in Central Contra Costa and those and their families, who faithfully performed or at least made a good faith effort are welcome to attend, but you must RSVP by Friday, April 23 by sending an email to Rob McKie ( and you’ll receive further details. Remember to add my email to your safe senders list so you receive the info. No Impact Resource Letter.pdf
Comment by Rob McKie on April 21, 2010 at 5:25pm
Day 4 - FOOD
We don't buy too much stuff, I've noticed, and have preferred to buy used when we can from craigslist, etc.

It is difficult to not buy food, though, and our garden has been fallow for the past couple of years. I have been generally focused on the waste from packaging lately and we have over recent months/years avoided some of the more extreme packaging catastrophes such as occur at Trader Joes. But even frequenting a farmer's market and using a CSA box only accounts for a portion of what we eat. Most of the other stuff is dairy, of which, as a mostly vegetarian household, we eat a lot, breads and pasta, coffee and tea, spices, sugar and the like. All this stuff is packaging intensive or shipped from distant lands--pretty high impact. We recycle the packaging but as I've heard, recycling is not all it's cracked up to be.

Today I need to get some food and I plan to try locally produced milk and some other dairy stuff from Harvest House near my home and about 75 miles from Straus Creamery, an organic producer in Marin/Sonoma counties. The CSA box has been great though they even throw in stuff from Washington state (apples) and Mexico(!?) occasionally.

Another difficulty this (getting the local dairy products) creates is that this market is much further from my house and it is not practical to ride my bike for groceries. (I mean I could do it, but so far I don't have bags on the bike and can only carry what fits in a pack, so logistically, it means driving more).

We also eat a lot of bread. There are a couple of locally produced types we frequently buy--they come in paper of plastic bags, but other types, like sliced whole wheat, are your typical chain store brands for which I'm not aware of a substitute source both made and sold close to my house. I could drive to Berkeley for bread, but that doesn't make sense to me.

The most difficult thing, I think, are the extras, which are really so intrinsic to our lifestyle that they don't even seem like extras. Coffee/tea and spices from around the world. I'm not aware of local (to California) coffee or tea. How about local cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, etc? Anyone know about this?
Comment by Eileen A. Jones on April 20, 2010 at 3:38pm
There are little things coming up for me. I knew the rain was coming and put my plants that are under cover out in the open for a spring rain watering. After a spring cleaning in my front yard on Saturday I would normally spray down the flagstone, etc., but swept instead (breathing through a bandanna). That's true, Tina, about even though you are traveling one can make changes. I'm thinking what I learn this week will carry on to day to day life.
Comment by Tina King Neuhausel on April 20, 2010 at 9:51am
I'm having such a good time with this challenge and talking about it with others is causing them to make changes. Today's challenge is "burn calories, not fossil fuels". I'm heading for the stairs instead of the elevator. I had to fly to LA but bought a carbon offset for $3.50 at a kiosk in the airport.
Comment by Eileen A. Jones on April 18, 2010 at 11:48am
Yes, the consciousness, even though I will need to drive twice, is what counts. Plus, of course, I'm sure I will be making some changes during the week.
Comment by Tina King Neuhausel on March 10, 2010 at 9:44pm
No impact consciousness for one week--what a great way to build awareness!

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