Fossil fuels are ingrained in our daily lives – but do they have to be?

More than 30 Mainers have vowed to find out by participating in the first Portland No-Impact Week, October 13-20. We're proud to sponsor the one-week carbon cleanse, which challenges people to make realistic behavior changes that reduce their impact on the environment and improve their quality of life.

“The idea of the No Impact Project is for participants to spend a week eating locally grown food, getting around by walking or cycling, trying not to generate trash, and cutting back on electricity and water usage,” said Pat Coon, co-founder of high efficiency heating contracting company ReVision Heat and one of the organizers of the Portland No Impact Week.

Communities around the world have organized projects like this, inspired by the work of Colin Beavan, aka No Impact Man, who chronicled his family’s year-long experiment living a zero-waste lifestyle in New York City in a popular blog, book, and movie.

Portland’s No Impact Week kicked with a screening of the movie last week, and began in earnest on Sunday. Participants are working their way through a how-to manual full of tips and daily challenges - like buy nothing new (except food) and generate no trash - and are sharing their experiences on the project’s Facebook page

“This is a no-pressure, completely self-regulated type of experiment,” says organizer Carol Masterson. “For some people, No Impact Week will be a hardcore event with no cars or lights on. For others it will mean bringing their own cup to the coffee shop.”

Either way, it’s an opportunity to test how fossil-fueled modern “conveniences” impact our lives. Learn more about the project and register to participate here.