Day Three: How DO you do it?!

I have to admire all of you zero-impacters out there. How do you do it? You must have a lot of will power because even when I think about it, sometimes I just can’t convince myself to forego that lemonade or that stick of gum.


Here’s a look at our Tuesday (Day 3) usage:

Day Three Results


So that means our rankings for the week so far are as follows:

  1. Amanda Myers, Caroline Coccoli, Isaac Alpert, and Julie Cahillane (tied for first with zero points)
  2. Alicia White, Madeleine Steger, and Jamie Weil (tied for second with 1 point)
  3. Andrew Hobaugh, Emma Lehmann, and Robert Whittier (tied for third with three points)
  4. Shelby Hatch
  5. Abby Gary
  6. Zach Glasser
  7. Chase Eck

The game isn’t over yet, though! Keep reducing your impact on a daily basis. And happy hump day!


April 25, 2012 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

Day Two: Where do you stand?

Things are getting interesting! Some of us have managed to hold on to our zero-impact, while midterms seem to be forcing more than a few of us into disposable caffeine-intake methods on our late-night library visits.

Keep up the good work!


April 24, 2012 at 10:26 am Leave a comment

Day 1 Results!

All over the board on Day 1! We’ve only had one non-reporter so we can see pretty clearly where everybody stands in the competition. Surprisingly, lots of zero-impacters for Sunday, but also a few points scattered around.

Hopefully we will soon see downward trends in points-accumulation. I’ve often found that it is easier to stick to a sustainable regimen during the week than it is on the weekend, so I am curious to see if this group of competitors reinforces that observation or not.

What were your biggest challenges and where did your points come from, if you had any? If you didn’t have any, did you give anything up or alter your daily routine somehow? I know my point came from my passionate love affair with the pack of Diet Coke cans in my fridge. I didn’t realize I had gotten myself stuck with a point until I crumpled up the can and put it in the recycling bin!

Anyways, here is a graphic of our Day 1 results. Have a look for yourself!


The new points and total points are all the same for Day 1, but hopefully our total points bars don’t grow too much more throughout the week!


Good luck today! I look forward to a fresh round of reports tonight.

April 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm 1 comment

Does it count?

Since I NEVER use plastic bags, disposable cutlery, cups, etc., I thought NO PROBLEM to win this thing. And then I went outside to pick up my NYT, and it was wrapped in a blue plastic bag. Does that count??

April 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm 4 comments

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, y’all! Today is the day. Keep counting your points and checking in on our participants. I’m going to be posting each day’s results the next day. 

April 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

No Impact Challenge is back for 2012!

The No Impact Challenge is back and better than ever for 2012! We have a great crop of new competitors who are ready to go zero-waste for a week and tell us all about it!

April 21, 2012 at 9:47 am 2 comments

The Economic Impact of Washington D.C. Bag Fee

The economic impact of the bag fee in Washington D.C.  is disputed.  A study by The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University estimated, using an economic model, that if all other factors remain constant, the bag fee will eliminate 101 jobs in the area and a loss of $602,000 of investment, mostly in the retail industry. These losses will also reduce sales tax revenue and offset the revenue gained from the fee, which will ,over time, decrease.  The study reasons that the negative economic impacts will occur due to consumers shopping outside of Washington D.C. and by reallocating some income to the fee which they would have spent on other items.[1]
Proponents of the fee argue that empirical data shows that the model’s predictions are false. In a survey of business owners in Washington D.C. only 12% reported a negative impact on their business while, 78% reported a beneficial or neutral impact.[2] In addition the model is built on a standard model of sales tax increase, which does not accurately reflect the nature of the bag fee.  The bag fee is avoidable, unlike a tax[3], so consumers have a third option.  Instead of spending income on the fee or shopping elsewhere, as the model argues, consumers can also make a one-time purchase of a reusable bag and incur no further extra cost. In addition the model fails to take into account the economic benefits to business, including the reduced cost of buying and storing bags, and the value of the environmental benefits.[4]  This would indicate that the model overestimated the net negative impact of the fee and a net positive impact cannot be ruled out.

[1] The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. The Impact of Bill 18-150 on the Economy of Washington, D.C.. : The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, 2011., pg. 4
[2]ontgomery County, Maryland . “Leggett Proposes Five-cent Charge on Paper, Plastic Carryout Bags Provided by Retailers to Encourage Use of Reusable Carryout Bags, Enhance the Environment; Funds Dedicated to Water Quality Protection.”
[3]Kizler, Josh. “Update: The efficacy of Washington, D.C.’s bag fee.” Plastic Bag Laws. Accessed May 12, 2011.’s-bag-fee/#_edn11.
[4]Brown, Josh. “Bag surcharge a detriment to D.C., study says.” Washington Times, February 10, 2011.

May 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm Leave a comment

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