Published by BeckyJain on 24 Oct 2011 at 10:57 am
Moving back to the US after nearly five years in India, I was very much aware that my carbon footprint was about to increase substantially. Every time I visited, I’d gasp in horror at the packaging waste, the lights left on without anyone in the room, the unnecessary car trips taken whimsically. Whether or not I was ready for it, I was returning to the American culture of excess. Thankfully, I have found several inspiring films that help me keep alive the hope that things can change here. Below is a montage of the films I recently seen which examine ways to live more sustainably and sensibly, with my brief take on them..
No Impact Man documentary struck me because of the similarities between the way Colin lived and the way we lived in India by default. The food options in India were limited to mostly seasonal, local produce and very little packaging; we faced regular power cuts; plastic bags were banned in Jaipur recently. Our washing machine was only partially automatic–I loved the scene where he and his family are walking on the clothes in the bathtub!
The creators of “Bag It” the movie also take the audience on a personal exploration of not just plastic bags, but plastics in general. The film drives home the point that plastic doesn’t just go away; we must reduce (that means buy less, people!), reuse, then recycle… It provided me inspiration to be more firm in my commitment to living sustainably, i.e. remembering to bring bags with me to the supermarket and insisting that they be used, going more regularly to the farmer’s markets, exploring community garden options.
It also features an interview with Annie, a well-known eco-crusader and the creator of “Story of Stuff.” I met her at a conference in February and soon after watched the video for the first time. The animated format makes it fun and funny, but its simplicity has a strong effect. The follow-up videos are equally as powerful. She has also done a great job of organizing an online community around the issues; check out the Facebook page here and their WiserEarth group.
Radically Simple–wow. Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity and Dartmouth College’s first Sustainability Coordinator, shines on screen with humility, good humor, and no-guilt solutions. This brief film is filled with deep insights. I loved that he was a former engineer gone green warrior. It reminded me of a show in the UK , It’s Not Easy Being Green on the BBC with a retired lieutenant colonel who rebuilt a derelict 300-year-old property into an environmentally-friendly home.
What green films do you think get the message out and should be added to this list?
Becky is a nonprofit communications specialist and blogs at www.BeckyBlab.com. She spent the last five years living in India and is now based in New York. She’s a dedicated WiserEarth volunteer, yoga and meditation practitioner, and is passionate about ICTD and new media.
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