No Impact Week, Day 8 – Sunday: Eco-Sabbath
Take a break from everything. Ohm Shanti.Posted Jan 12, 2011
This is the eighth in a series of eight blog articles chronicling my experience participating in the 2011 No Impact Week, a global challenge to lower your carbon footprint as much as possible over eight days, initiated by Colin Beavan’s No Impact Project.
The last day of No Impact Week was about getting outside, and into nature. Powering down our computers and switching off the lights and appliances, my brother and I headed north – out of the city and into the mountains. A light snow was falling, and as the range began to loom above us with rays of sunlight setting their slopes on fire, we grew silent – humbled by the awesome beauty of our surroundings.
Entering the dark and quiet of the forest to start our ascent, the stresses and worries of my life began to drop away with each step I took. My attention turned to the soft murmur of streams, and the whisper of wind in the treetops high above. I breathed in crisp, fresh air thick with the scent of hemlock, cedar and fir. Staring upwards into the canopy I watched transfixed, as a shaft of light breaking through the dark boughs transformed slowly falling snowflakes into swirling, sparkling gold. I felt small, and insignificant. Meditating on the wonders surrounding me, I could feel my batteries recharging, and my emotions calming.
Completing our hike, we returned home through the hectic chaos of a busy city. The petty annoyances of traffic seemed less important, and we were consciously aware that we had fewer wants. Nature had filled the cracks that the week’s stresses had created – cracks that would normally have been filled with consumption as a reward for enduring the trials and tribulations of a modern life. Fast food, shiny toys, and the latest accessories seemed less important. For the time being, we had regained some perspective.
“A year after doing the No Impact Experiment the first time, I can see how it changed my life. I was reminded how important community is, and since then I have become much more active in my city and group of friends. I am happier because of it and I find myself compelled to do it again. I can’t recommend a better way to kick off the New Year.”
- Aran is a partner at Eartheasy.com.