Over 4000 people have committed to reducing their carbon footprint over No Impact Week, which started Sunday. Before the week began, HuffPost received an email from Donna Joseph of Everett, Washington who said she would be participating despite the fact that a health condition required her to stay on 24/7 oxygen support. A 75 year-old former math teacher, Donna asked, "Is it too late for me to take a second look at this planet that has nourished me and determine some ways in which I can give back?"
She doesn't think so. "I can do it," she wrote, "and so can you."
Inspired by her story, we asked others to share their reason for signing up. Take a look at our favorite videos of what people said (you can submit your own video below and sign up for No Impact Week here):
Whether personal or political, videotape your reason for joining No Impact Week, perhaps inspiring others to join in the process. In under one minute, tell us or SHOW us what motivated you to sign up. Once you've made the video, press upload below and you'll be directed to YouTube's site to sign in and to verify your use of the application before being led back to this page to upload your video.
Participants like Lise Dufour also shared their reasons via email. Lise says that global climate change spurred her to participate:
As any person who reads the news and is aware of what's happening in the world, I'm really concerned about climate change, the impact of pollution, the water crisis, etc. I want to do whatever I can to stop participating in that disaster. I already do my best to have the less impact possible, but I'm sure the No Impact Project will give me more ideas on how to do it. I also hope that if many people participate in this challenge, the authorities will realize that we're ready to change our habits and that we need their help for that. The project is just for one week, but I'll try to keep on doing it for months and years--as much as I can--and I hope all the participants will do the same.
Heather Della Rocca from San Diego joined No Impact Week with an eye towards future generations:
I worry when I consider the kind of world my two small children will grow up in, where basic resources like clean water will be hard to get. My wasteful life is making me sick and uneasy and I look forward to making some real changes. It's time to live deliberately and model a way of living that can change the world.
Andrea Roberts was also inspired by the next generation:
My motivation can be summed up easily in two words - my kids. My husband and I have always been conscious of our impact and have tried to live with a small footprint. But when our kids were born, we decided we needed to try and whittle down our footprint even more. They are ultimately going to inherit the earth, and we want to make sure there is a healthy earth for them to inherit. I decided to join no-impact week because it is a good way to get the whole family involved and force us to see how much we consume and where we can cut back. With the kids actively involved, they can see too. And maybe it will influence them (the next generation) to walk softly upon the earth and be good stewards.
Amy Allison from Tacoma, Wash., was inspired by Colin Beavan, the original No Impact Man:
I started trying to become more environmentally aware when I was pregnant with my daughter, both to protect her from environmental toxins and because I was concerned about the world she would grow up in. I became a fan of the No Impact Man blog because like Colin Beavan, I am married with a daughter the same age, and until recently, I lived in the city. I have made a lot of changes in my life already, inspired by his example. No Impact Week is an opportunity to stretch myself beyond the environmental changes I have already made.
For Susan Hedlin, No Impact Week is a way to make positive change on a local, individual level:
We all have an awareness that there is something drastically wrong with our planet and its support system. We know all about carbon footprints and global warming. We hear about problems and issues non-stop in the media. The dissonance surfaces when we think that it is someone else's problem to solve, or that the problem is one of government regulation or lack of regulation. It is easy to blame soulless corporations. What we fail to realize is that it is our day to day choices that are causing this very scary situation. I believe that making seemingly small incremental changes and building community awareness will make a difference and create strides towards healing ourselves and our planet.
Hannah Joyner sees No Impact Week as empowering and potentially transformative:
I believe that in addition to doing right by the planet, going "No Impact" is truly the way to do right by ourselves. By pushing ourselves to live up to what we say we believe, we're asking ourselves to face up to ourselves. Instead of letting ourselves get by with easy rhetoric, we are allowing ourselves to grow, to bloom into more responsible and effective people--on this issue but also on all other issues. It is a way of celebrating the potential of humanity--and the potential of ourselves.
If these stories inspire you, sign up here and join them by spending the week reducing your impact.
Sign Up For HuffPost's No Impact Week Here!