Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A little neurosis to start us off...

Hello world! I've decided to document the adventures of the "No-Impact New Yorkers" Meetup group aimed at nourishing and growing a community of New Yorkers interested in spreading the word about personal responsibility towards the environment by taking personal responsibility for themselves. I'm keeping this blog private for the moment, in case this adventure goes kaput the way my "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" adventure did (3 blog posts, 2 pairs of wool socks, and a sleeping pad, but not one step on the trail itself). On that hopeful note...

It began this past Saturday. Dave and I watched the movie "No Impact Man" -- thank you, Netflix Gods -- and lamented the fact that we don't have a posse of like-minded friends with whom we can be green. Its really hard feeling like we are the most environmentally conscious of our local friends (it may not be true, but we feel that way). Being me, I decided I would not stand for this kind of thing, by golly, and I did several things.

First, I wrote an email to Colin Beavan thanking him for the excellent movie and his efforts.

Second, I started a meetup group called Green New Yorkers and spent 2 hours on the logo. I think I've ripped it off from somewhere, I just can't recall where.

I then spent the next 4 hours hitting "reload" hoping to have one, just one, member. No dice.

Third, I had drinks and dinner at Gobo with Katja and Anden and was wonderfully surprised to learn that they are quite as green as we are! Katja does the same goofy stuff we do about not going to a grocery store unless you have your own bag! How did we not know this?! Anyway, I begged Katja and Anden to be my first meetup group members, and they were wonderful to agree. Spirits raised slightly.

I spent the next two days incessantly hitting "reload", with zero members besides Katja and Anden, and the horrible feeling that, to paraphrase Calvin, my idea would explode in the hangar. After poking around Meetup, I finally realized that the group was not actually in the Meetup directory. Oh sweet relief! It wasn't me, it was them! I wasn't a failure (yet)! I promptly took my frustration out on the poor Meetup developers and let them know how I felt about the hold up. (Good job, Nidhi. Way to get in the spirit of community).

On my way to DC yesterday, I emailed Stephanie and Colin again at the No Impact Project to ask about getting my hands on their manual and about a tool to track sustainable living behaviors. And... Stephanie wrote back asking me if they could talk with me! I flipped out and called Dave right away. I somehow managed to write a sensible reply "Dear Stephanie, it would be a pleasure..."

I also cheated and emailed Kamil last night, the group owner of Vegunks (vegetarian/vegan rock climbers) to see if he would email his group about my group. Despite the email from Stephanie and Colin, I didn't think my ego could take the absence of members much longer.

And, this morning in my hotel in DC, I woke up to a new member! Hooray! Success! I threw myself a mental party, sent her a "Greeting," and continued to monitor my Meetup membership obsessively all morning. I was in meetings from 11AM onward and took the train home immediately after, so I had no chance to check my membership until I got home. On arrival I rushed to the site with bated breath... 18 members at 8PM! I am so excited!! And, its now 10PM, I have 21 members and 7 attendees to my first Meetup! Hooray!

Green living, here I come!