Guest post by Juliette Beck of North Davis as part of Low Impact Week. If you would like to submit your own blog post or video diary on the Low Impact Challenge, please email jemoores AT

Hopefully you saw the No Impact Man movie. Colin, his wife Michelle and their toddler cut drastically back on their consumption for a year and discover they can live better with less stuff, and more local food, biking and quality time with family.

What did you think of the experiment? Was it effective? What could you do without or change that might actually yield positive benefits?

One attendee of last night’s film – a woman from Spain that now lives in Davis– thought that going without electricity for a year was extreme. “I love watching movies. We don’t have a TV but Netflix is like a hobby.” She wasn’t so keen on composting either, but she is perfectly content living in a small condo. “In Barcelona, everyone has small apartments. It’s what we are used to.”

I cringed a bit, thinking about my recent move to a three bedroom house that probably requires a lot more energy to heat and cool. As a product of the suburbs, the house is “what I am used to.”  It made me realize that so much of what we do is habit – done without thinking or taking time to explore and try out new options.

This week’s Low Impact Challenge aims to bust up a few, old habits and encourage folks to prioritize some climate-friendly alternatives in dealing with their trash, energy use, transportation, water, and food.

Today being all about trash, perhaps you can help me with a predicament. My old landlord wants me to get rid of my compost pile even though it’s not done composting. I’m very proud (and rather attached) to my compost pile – it’s the one thing I grow well.  My new landlord is not so keen on compost but agreed to a worm bin. What should I do with my cherished, quasi-composted compost pile?