Mar 24, 2007

Aw, misconceptions are so cute

So I think some of the new readers here are a bit confused. Colin Beavan's project is his own, and I think it rocks. So if you read the article in they NYTimes, you read about No Impact Man, not the Compact. He references the Compact as another project looking toward sustainability, and there was a link. Now you're here.

The Compact has actually refused several book deals, because of the obvious problem w/ selling something to tell folks not to shop. (Colin Beavan is a writer, that's his job. He's doing it more sustainably than most.) You can read the first post on this blog to see what we agreed to, how this started out in 2006 w/ 10 friends in San Francisco (not NYC).

Hopefully the info above will clarify for some folks that we're not trying to encourage anyone to live like an 1800's colonist. And maybe it will help w/ the geography: Compact is everywhere but started in SF; No Impact Man is in NYC. I got about 5 comments either way: "You West Coasters are FLAKY weirdos" or "NYC is a huge pollution glut".

But I also thought I'd respond here to a specific comment because it was more interesting to me. Someone cautioned me to "never forget" that I'm "a dog walker. Not a political thinking, (sic) or someone with an advanced degree". Nope, I don't have an advanced degree. I've been accepted to study in London in the Fall, so perhaps I'll get one soon. The critic above went on to suggest what my "capabilities" might be better suited for in terms of social change. These classist statements make no sense to me. I'll be the first to say that education is wonderful, but to suggest that someone needs an advanced degree to understand the problems and solutions involved with sustainability is elitist and absurd.

Check out my website to see how this lowly dog walker is trying to make a difference in her trade and in local parks. And regarding plastic bags, all my bags are used before I get to them. And I've supported the SF bag fee, which didn't pass. And am currently supporting the push to make all of our SF grocery bags compostable. But look to the SFChronicle for a piece by another Compactor about the problems with bagged poop. We're looking for solutions, hope you are too.


Anonymous said...

Rachael, I am sorry to know that you have received such "classist" comment. Every one of us can make a difference.

Jitendra Desai said...

American citizens can contribute much more to environment protection by switching over to cotton kercheifs instead of paper ones which are consumed in their millions every day.Just imagine if [we] Indians and Chinese picked up this habit for wiping our hands and butts, what could happen to gree cover? Americans led by Hollywood can set this life style.

Anonymous said...

This has popped up partly in response to the NYT article -

MotherLodeBeth said...

What amazed me about the NYTimes article of the Conlin-Beavan's is that I am more than sure there are people in NYC who are doing more than these folks are and for years and years. And how much fuel will it take to ship the book they are writing to places all over the country? And how much energy does it use to get the cleaning lady and the child care workers to and from work? For me its more than what we use, but what all the people whose services we may on occasion use, are using to get to my place. Running a vacuum cleaner once a week for a few minutes uses far less energy than hiring someone to come clean. And having less stuff means less stuff to clean. Maybe we have been doing this voluntary simplicity lifestyle so long and have friends who are doing the same, that it still boggles me mind when some newbie discovers the idea.

Abstract Figure said...

"a dog walker. Not a political thinking, (sic) or someone with an advanced degree".

HOLY F! I can't even believe someone would say something like that!?

[said in mocking tone of voice]: "Sorry don't bother trying to lessen the impact on the don't have a degree in that."


Anonymous said...

People with advanced degrees have been running the world for years now... and look at the state it's in!!! We need fewer advanced degrees and more dogwalkers.

Vinay said...

Never forget: Amory Lovins - author of countless books including co-authoring Natural Capitalism, and one of the key team that's greening Wal-Mart doesn't have a degree.

I invented an award-winning shelter for refugees, and have done groundbreaking work in three fields - no degree.

Seriously, it doesn't matter. You just have to get results - which you are.