Recipes for Disaster

I just saw the documentary Recipes for Disaster on NRK, the Norwegian broadcasting company. It’s a film about climate change and a family who tries to do something about it. The family decides to live a year on a carbon diet. They sell their car, they try to avoid plastic wrappers (which is a though one; think about what is NOT wrapped in plastic the next time you visit the mall), they start to row their motor boat, and they do a lot of other adjustments in their lifestyle. The adjustments are not always easy to deal with. Their homemade toothpaste, for example, tastes terrible according to the children. It is the father in the family who is the idealist; his wife is more skeptical of the whole project. This leads to tensions that are hard to deal with, and we get glimpses from some of the many arguments they must have had.

Their challenges are maybe made harder by the fact that they live in a suburb in Finland, a country with a semi-arctic climate. It is, for example, not very attractive to wait for the bus outside on a cold winter day instead of cruising away in a heated car. (They actually end up buying a car that runs on bio-fuel.) Most of the time, it does not look like fun to be on a carbon diet. They do have some positive experiences, however. The least surprising, maybe, is that they have more time for the kids. This is partly because they take the bus all the time, and, I guess, because they have to put fewer activities into each day.

After a year on the carbon diet, they conclude that people can do something with their oil consumption, but first people has to overcome themselves. It’s an interesting film. See it if you can!


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