Can You Join Me in Taking the Low-Impact Challenge?

08/12/2010 08:07 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Recently on AM760, I interviewed author Colin Beavan about his fantastic book and movie No Impact Man. Inspired by the discussion, we've decided at AM760 to organize and launch a Low Impact Week -- and I'm asking you to join me by signing up and taking the challenge with me here. The week is sponsored by Independent Power Systems - it's free and it should be a helluva lot of fun - and here's the thing: You don't have to be a liberal or a conservative to know this is important.

From Aug. 16-20, we're asking listeners to join me in a one-week challenge to reduce our carbon emissions and have less of an impact on our environment in general. No, you don't have to build a hut in the woods and wear a loincloth. We've broken it down it down to five simple things we can do without. Each day of the week we'll add one more thing to try and stick with it for the remainder of the week:

Day 1: Eat no meat.

Day 2: Eat one locally grown meal per day.

Day 3: Use no paper (other than toilet paper!).

Day 4: Produce no non-recyclable trash.

Day 5: Do not drive in a fossil-fuel burning automobile with less than three people in it.

Each of these steps significantly reduces an individual's carbon emissions and overall environmental footprint. If you are willing to take the challenge with me -- and I hope you are -- then sign up here. You don't have to be a resident of Colorado to participate -- we want as many people as possible across the country joining us.

We're going to list all the names of those who are taking the pledge, and any recommendations you have for how to lessen our impact. Rest assured, we'll be using the honor system because the point here is not perfection, but the willingness to join me in trying to take each of these steps to the best of your own ability. If you can only take a few of these steps, that's totally fine. If you can take all of them, that's great, too. Again, the website for Low Impact Week is here - and you'll see we are starting to list companies that provide eco-friendly products and services to help us maximize the week.

The point of doing this is to lessen our environmental foot print for a week, but to also raise our consciousness on how much we all currently waste in our own lives. The thing is, it's easy to say you abstractly support environmental initiatives and green legislative policies - while taking no individual action to mitigate human impact on the earth. And it's easy to say that individual actions mean nothing, and that the only important environmental actions are those in the political/electoral arena. But that's a false choice. There needs to be both policy action and individual initiative, if only because the more individuals take initiative, the less difficult it will be to eventually legislate those initiatives into law. After all, if someone has incorporated, say, conservation into their lives, then laws codifying conservation initiatives won't seem so frightening.

That's why we're hoping to get as many people signed up for Low Impact Week as possible - so please forward this post to all your friends and family.

During the each day of the Low Impact Week, we're going to devote time on AM760's morning show to talk to nationally acclaimed experts on ways to make lowering our individual environmental impacts easy and fun. We'll also examine why each of these steps have such a powerful positive environmental effect. And, of course, we will take your calls telling us how you are doing with the challenge, and sharing with us your own eco-friendly tips.

We here at the AM760 morning show work really hard to make our program not a one-way broadcast medium - but a participatory experience. So again, I hope you'll join me in this challenge by signing up for Low Impact Week and then tuning in to the show at or on AM760 on your radio dial.