Monday Giveaway — No Impact Man Book

by Katy on September 20, 2010 · 75 comments

I am reinstating the Giveaway Monday after a week or so off. Up for grabs today is a hardback copy of Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal who Attempts to Save The Planet, and the Discoveries he Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process. This copy was purchased at Title Wave, the Multnomah county library used book store by yours truly.

To enter to win this book, write a little something in the comments section about any one thing you’re doing to decrease your impact on this lovely, lovely planet. Click here to read my kick-ass interview with Colin Beavan from last year.

I will randomly choose a winner on Wednesday, September 22nd at midnight. Please enter only once, U.S. residents only.

Good Luck!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Jones September 20, 2010 at 8:19 am

I’m really into recycling lately (always have been a little, but have ramped up the effort recently). Between our recycling bins and our compost pile, we’ve been able to reduce our trash from one large trash bag a week to a couple of the small grocery bags a week. I’m also planning to volunteer a few hours a month to the county’s recycling drop-off station.


Maureen September 20, 2010 at 8:22 am

I make sure the dishwasher is full before running it. And with it just being my husband and myself, we usually only run it twice a week. And I turn it off when it hits the dry cycle and open the door and let the steam fill the house (especially in the winter when the wood stove is running). The dishes then air dry before being put back in the cabinets.


Mary September 20, 2010 at 8:25 am

I compost our food scraps, leaves & grass clippings, dust & cat hair from the vacuum cleaner, etc….
We use the dirt we make from the compost to improve the soil in our garden.


Eli September 20, 2010 at 8:26 am

Recycling, canvas grocery bags, carpooling whenever possible, and generally bugging everyone I know to consume less 🙂

I also recently snagged a stalk of basil from a friend and have transplanted it in the hopes that my black thumb will turn green 🙂


Rachel September 20, 2010 at 8:30 am

i live in a material world and i’m a material girl! used, garage sale, thrift store, reclaimed, refurbished, refurnished, hand me down, thrown out and discarded are my favorite materials. our entire house is furnished in items of just that description…with the only exception being my hubs and i’s mattress and one family room couch (total panic impulse purchase I will never let us live down!) feels good to know that each toy bin, book shelf, tv watched and chair sat on made less of an impact for our world!


Lisa September 20, 2010 at 8:33 am

Only one thing?…..Okay, I cook everything from scratch.


Alexis September 20, 2010 at 8:35 am

We get milk delivered in glass bottles, so no more wasted plastic or cardboard. I’m also going to start making my own yogurt so I won’t have to throw away lots of little plastic yogurt bins.


Jenny September 20, 2010 at 8:37 am

I’ve recycled for a long time, but now I am trying to be really mindful of packaging on items I buy. Less plastic, avoid the clamshells, etc. Have to say that organic products are some of the worst offenders. Organic crackers more often have the plastic slotted insert, whereas regular crackers just have a cello sleeve inside the box. And European style crackers like Wasa sometimes have just a paper wrapper. A friend (who works for an environmental org.) told me that China has recently adopted some new laws that limit the amount of packaging to a percentage of the weight of the product. Maybe not the best way to do it, but certainly a step in the right direction. It’s timeto get throwaway packaging out of our lives!


jenniwaka September 20, 2010 at 8:50 am

We try to reuse packaging for everything at home. Wheat goes in old mayo jars, cardboard boxes get used to send gifts to friends and family far away, etc. We combine errands even if it means waiting a few days to pick up ingredients or toiletries. Oh, and here at work I save fax cover sheets and other waste paper to use the backs for notes.


Crystal Plummer September 20, 2010 at 9:05 am

I try to find new things to do to help the enviornment. Yesterday I was making applesauce and hated throwing the peelings out (by throwing out I mean compost or feeding to the rabbit). So I sprinkled them with a bit of cinnamon and sugar and dehydrated them. I now have a healthy (well, less the sugar!) snack that was otherwise going to be composted! 🙂 Also I always make my own laundry detergent – 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap (grated), 4 pounds of Baking Soda, 1 box of washing powder – mix well and use a bit less than 1/8 of a cup for a full load. Can also add borax (still only use 1/8 a cup). I keep it in a bucket. Lasts me about 6 months!


Christine S September 20, 2010 at 9:08 am

Repurposing things, as well as trying to buy items that are not overly packaged. I think the biggest right now is using cloth diapers rather than disposables. We do use one or two disposables at night, but hope to taper that off once she gets a little bigger. And I do line dry the diapers when I can!


Grace September 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

This year I have started buying as much of our food locally as possible and using a clothesline to dry our clothes. Next year I hope to start a vegetable garden and get some chickens, I can’t wait!


April September 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

I traded in my SUV for a Prius. Its a good start for somone who just got into saving the earth! Besides that we bought stainless steel water bottles and travel coffee cups to take with us to work so we arent going to the vending machines for bottled water or using styrofoam cups for coffee. And it all started with this book!


Kristi Stone September 20, 2010 at 9:20 am

I am gardening/growing our own food, supporting our local farmer’s market, bought a water filtration system (as opposed to using bottled water), hanging out my laundry and a few other things. As my husband and I learn more of what we can do, we make those changes. It’s been really exciting. 🙂

Love the book, btw, and would love a copy of it.


Jenn L. September 20, 2010 at 9:23 am

recently we became a one car household. many of my friends and family do not understand how this is possible, seeing that we live in Los Angeles, but we make it work. i take public transportation (yes it exists) to work most days and my love rides his bike everywhere. we are finding that we don’t even drive the one car we have as much anymore. it just takes a little extra planning, but it really is easier than i expected! i love reading your blog :).

have a happy day!


Cyndi September 20, 2010 at 9:24 am

We are doing a class surrounding this book for teens 🙂


Anne Weber-Falk September 20, 2010 at 9:25 am

After watching Food, Inc. and No Impact Man we have made a number of small changes. We use cloth bags or we carry it all in our arms when shopping. We do not buy as much meat and try to purchase from the farmer’s market. This meat is all field raised and humanely slaughtered. If an item is over packaged at the store then we look for something else or don’t buy it at all. All of our cleaning products are now Earth friendly too, either homemade or lower impact on the environment. It is a start.


Tara September 20, 2010 at 9:26 am

I’m reducing the amount of meat my family eats. I read that producing beef is a huge source of pollution, as well as water and corn consumption. And it’s not even that healthy for you!


Donna September 20, 2010 at 9:33 am

We compost, and I recently made cloth napkins, so no more paper napkins for us! We also use cloth grocery bags and try to combine errands to limit gas consumption. But my favorite thing is just staying out of the stores! Not buying crap is the best green thing we do!


Rachel S September 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

I sold my car over a year ago, so I could ride my bike and take public transportation anywhere I need to go. Its one of the best decisions I ever made!!


Crystal September 20, 2010 at 9:38 am

I have been carpooling and using the bus when I need to go somewhere. When my car died, I decided to not replace it.


psmflowerlady/Tammy September 20, 2010 at 9:53 am

I have been preserving local produce this year so that even in the winter, we can have locally grown food. Eliminated paper towels and napkins.


Laura September 20, 2010 at 10:11 am

Fewer books printed = less fossil fuel used. I sell my gently used books so that fewer new copies are bought, and I buy books on Kindle, or if something I want to read isn’t available I buy used books from Amazon or trade for them on goodreads.


Mark September 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

Going local is such an important part of the equation, especially when it comes to food. I am starting a garden project in the community garden down the street in which I now have an 800 sqft plot in the community garden down the street. I am in the process of converting 1/4 of it to a composting area drawing organic matter from the other gardens in the community garden area. The remaining 600 sqft of the plot will be devoted to 2 or 3 row crops which will be donated to local food banks. I’ve narrowed the selection down to either Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA), or Meals On Wheels of Boulder. The first two are the top contenders because they are within a mile of the garden so that I can make deliveries using my bike & trailer. I have another 100 sqft garden space out my back door to supplement my own family’s needs and I am joining a local CSA to further supplement my family’s needs.


LBC Teacher September 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

I am carpooling to work this year with a coworker, saving gas and creating less pollution. I also just today printed out the rules for my community recycling to hang in the kitchen so I can make sure everything eligible for recycling makes it into the container. I also requested to stop receiving catalogs from various vendors.


Andrea September 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

I would dearly love to reduce (eliminate) my impact from driving lots of miles every day, but living in a rural area makes that prospect difficult. Instead I’m contemplating making my own ketchup.


Jessica September 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

I try to follow the reduce, reuse, then recycle method. I use resusable bags for my shopping or refuse a bag if I have forgotten one. I teach from home and therefore don’t use handouts and texts books that use paper, but perhaps more energy as each student has to use a computer to access their work.


A. Marie September 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm

My husband and I do a lot of the stuff that other folks have mentioned, but to keep it to one thing (and one thing that hasn’t been noted above), we have a “kill-a-watt”-type monitor on our electricity and consult it regularly. It’s a real help in remembering to shut off unnecessary lights, turn off the computers when we’re not using them, etc. Remember, the less electricity we all use, the less complicit we are in the destruction of my beloved Appalachians (I’m originally from Tennessee) for coal.


Rebecca September 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I use cloth diapers for our little one and cloth pads/diva cup for myself.


Terri September 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

My husband and I sold our second car. We replaced all our light bulbs to CFL then gave the old bulbs to his grandmother who always needs more. We didn’t replace our dryer when it went out. Instead, I have indoor and outdoor clotheslines. We are in the process of putting in a gray water system for apple trees. That should also help water our garden when we put one in next year. We are currently insulating our house so we can use less energy. We try to keep the heat between 60-65 in the winter. It is lovely to bundle up! We replaced our huge water tank that was going bad with a much smaller tank. I use freecycle and craiglist to recycle my used items instead of throwing in the trash.

My biggest flow is that I don’t compost, recycle every day items, nor have I stopped shopping enough. I have come a long way from where I was but I have such a long way to go to get where I am going!


Molly On Money September 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

We save our junkmail and use it to make papercrete blocks to rebuild our yurt and garden retaining walls.


sarah k. September 20, 2010 at 2:31 pm

It’s not so huge, but we keep putting off buying a second car, though it makes it hard for me and my 3 kids when dad is off to work. I’ve been riding my bike everywhere, and making the kids do it, too. Bike to the market, the dentist, the mall (just the once!), school. As a former non-cyclist, it’s been a big change, and it requires planning and effort. But I feel so hard core when I do it!


Nancy Adams September 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Hmmm….well, lots of stuff, but most recently recycling #5 yogurt containers at Green Life/Whole Foods which now has a bin for them. Yay!! Also for the past week have been reading The Joy of Less and freecycling/consigning/Goodwilling like crazy. Have gotten rid of tons of stuff that we didn’t want, use, or need 🙂


leslie September 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I am hanging my clothes to dry, and encouraging my blog readers to join CrunchyChicken’s October Hang ‘Em Dry Challenge. 🙂
I’d love to read this book!


missie September 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I am Freecycling a lot more of my things and also posting wanted listings for things we’re looking for. I do my darndest to get the word out when we’re looking for something just in case someone we know has it!!


Laurie September 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I went “no-poo” about two weeks ago. It’s really not that bad! Also just converted some old soft flannel in to cloth Kleenex. Now trying to get the rest of the family to using them. That’s not going so well.


Jackie September 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I am attempting to buy used whenever possible, reduce my plastic consumption, and use re-usable products whenever I can. I recycle like crazy, vermicompost, hang-dry my laundry, and do not own a car!


Deb September 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Had a hard time choosing one thing, so here are the two that probably make the biggest impact:
No more book or magazine purchases, much as I love having them. In the winter I go through 4 – 5 novels a week, plus I had a few magazine subscriptions. I started using my local library for all my reading needs about 5 years ago. Sold some of my book collection, and donated the rest to the library for their yearly sale.
Instead of driving 30 miles round-trip to work each day, I now walk or bike to work and for all my errands around town. I save any errands that aren’t local up for those times I can go with friends – we carpool, visit, and enjoy each others’ company while we run errands in the city that’s about a 40 minute drive away (no public transport available).


Joanna @ Starving Student Survivor September 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I stopped buying shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, and other hair products. Instead I simply rinse my hair with water, and once or twice a week scrub my scalp with baking soda and rinse with vinegar. No containers to produce and throw away, no weird chemicals on my hair, and less money spent. It’s great!


Laura September 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I use baking soda every other day, no vinegar, and follow with a commercial conditioner maybe twice a month. For me, the vinegar rinse looked terrible in florescent lighting. Another variation for those out there 🙂


Jill September 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I have tossed my car keys for walking shoes to get to work. My job has offered to pay me $50 a month in exchange for my parking sticker. I follow Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan and I get this lovely snowball each month just for walking! I love saving gas, working off my hips and paying off bills at the same time!


Lindsie September 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I really want to read this! One small thing I did which has caused a little grumbling from my hubby was to stop buying paper towels. We had used up our last roll and I simply just didn’t buy anymore. I set out a basket of kitchen towels so they are handy for spills and we have gotten by for two months. Hubby asked for about the first two weeks when i was buying more but after awhile he got used to it!

elkmeese at yahoo dot com


Robin B. September 21, 2010 at 4:41 am

Wow, that is an AWESOME idea. We have tons of cloth towels … ummm…I think when my supply runs out I will follow your lead! Thanks for posting!


namastemama September 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Just today. We made our lunch and took it to an event. In lunch bots and lunch skins and our cloth napkins and reusable water bottles. Hubby brought home paper from the work recycle bin for the kids to draw on and then we recycle. Had to give the boy a bath after working in the garden. Saved the bath water to use in the toilets.


Martha September 20, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I am currently saving up nice colored plastic grocery bags (I actually hardly ever take them but the word is out and my friends are saving theirs for me) and I am going to weave a rug out of them. Local food, prius, bike, recycle, cook mostly from scratch, try to outfit us all in used clothes etc. Life is good!


Beth September 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Cloth diapers! My little one is in cloth diapers and I use cloth wipes with water instead of baby wipes. We went to the coast for 4 nights in August and I lugged all the cloth diaper stuff… saved us $14 for disposables and lots of nasty plastic waste! I wish I had done cloth when my first was an infant…


hydra September 20, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I recycle everything they take at the curb and started collecting plastics to take to New Seasons, and I’m also collecting used batteries to take somewhere that will take them.


Celeste Lamar September 20, 2010 at 9:49 pm

For our recent interstate move, my husband and I used boxes and packing materials saved from a previous move. Most of the packing materials were salvaged from mail order packaging to begin with. We recently donated boxes to another couple who needed them and will save the rest for another move.


Tanya September 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

My husband and I have always recycled but we recently began taking larger metal items to the scrap yard instead of just throwing them out.


anni September 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm

i bicycle and bus to work– over 100 miles round trip!! i got a folding bike that i can take inside the bus if the bus racks are full. the cycling part is about 25 miles a day but broken up into smaller segments. i work graveyard shift and at first was a little intimidated about riding at night, but now i find it’s my favorite time to ride and i actually feel more visible due to my super bright lights and all kinds of reflective stuff. the winter can be daunting at times but once i’m out there the weather isn’t as awful to ride in as you would think, kind of invigorating!


TeacherM September 21, 2010 at 1:50 am

I’m a special education teacher and part of my job is teaching “life skills” to students when they enter high school. Aside from the typical things like laundry, asking for help, public safety, etc…one of the first things I always do is teach about recycling, reducing waste, and reusing things in our classroom and school.

Last year, we began to run the school’s recycling program and won a grant to have “official” recycle bins in all the classrooms. My students are so proud of themselves and love having this very official responsibility to their community.


Robin B. September 21, 2010 at 4:40 am

Oh, I would love a copy of this book … I tried to get my bookgroup to pick it last year, but alas it didn’t win.

We’ve gotten in the habit of taking our own grocery bags to the store … so much so that I had to ask my parents for some of their plastic bags to use as trash bags (they recycle theirs … for some reason my mom can’t get my dad to take the cloth bags to the grocery store!)


Mallory September 21, 2010 at 5:56 am

Reusable bags, reusable water bottles, figuring out the rain barrel that came with the house 🙂


Shari September 21, 2010 at 6:22 am

I try very hard to forego the use of plastic shopping bags. I’m at less than 15 for the year—if I forget to bring my own, I try and forego a bag altogether but that hasn’t always been possible.

I also started shopping thrift stores this year for clothing and for “fabric”. I’ve found amazing fabrics to use for projects in shirts, skirts and jackets which may be stained, damaged or just plain wore through—cotton (Liberty cotton lawn), linen, cashmere and wool (Pendelton). I also love vintage sheets (particularly the 70s vibe) but have no luck at our local thrift stores. I love to sew and enjoy crafting items from my new fabric store.


Linda September 21, 2010 at 7:30 am

Reusing what we already have in new and creative ways before buying something new. My husband fixes everything instead of buying new. Bringing things to people who can reuse them like the plastic buckets when we buy flowers or plants back to the nursery. The old vacuum cleaner that doesn’t work and my husband doesn’t know how to fix back to the vacuum cleaner store so they can fix it and resell it.


Bonnie September 21, 2010 at 7:53 am

No more zip lock bags/sandwich bags. I reuse all that I have and they have lasted me for years. We use containers and bread bags instead. Once the bread bags are beyond repair, we put them in the bag recycling containers in the grocery store. The thought of plastic bags floating around in the oceans makes me sad.


Practical Parsimony September 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

No paper products: made cloth napkins, use dishcloths and dishtowels in kitchen, use cloth instead of tp, have a stash of clothing rags/sewing scraps for gross jobs.
Recycle all food scraps through my four hens and get eggs in return.
Carry cloth bags for grocery shopping.


Jodi September 21, 2010 at 8:29 am

Washing my own cloth diapers, cloth wipes, cloth covers, and using them all the time, even when we travel (except if it’s a business trip by plane). It’s very easy, much cheaper than disposables, and we never run out!

We’ve eaten primarily local and all organic food for seven years. Delicious, much less energy intensive, and costs less than the USDA moderate-budget standard for a family of our size.


Rena September 21, 2010 at 8:47 am

My bf and I have made many decisions the past couple of years to attain our spiritual goal of completely uncluttering our lifestyle. We aim to simplify and remove stuff from our apt and only bring in that which we truly need or desire. We currently don’t purchase ANYthing that comes in packaging, even food and personal hygiene products. And we’re paring down on only the essential possessions that truly make us happy that we would notice and feel pain if they were not in our lives. We reuse everything we own and make a list of what we need and find it second hand or don’t buy it. As for what we get rid of– everything gets posted on the craigslist free stuff page or we find friends who could use it and promise us to be responsible when they no longer need it. This change has had the biggest impact on our happiness and we feel as though we already have more than we could ever need and so much to be thankful for. We’re so happy to have learned so much: baking our own bread, making yogurt, composting, gardening, reglazing the clawfoot bathtub and so much more. We now have such a deep connection with (and a story behind) everything in our home.


Jennifer September 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

Made reusable sandwich/snack bags for my child’s school lunches out of scrap fabric I had on hand. Now I’m getting requests to make them for friends!


rhonda September 21, 2010 at 11:45 am

Try to come up with lower impact options first before buying anything new anymore, used, re-purposed, repaired, make do without, etc.


Toni September 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm

We are always looking for things we can use time and again rather than use and toss — paper towels, napkins, bottles, cloth bags, air filter, etc. We keep finding new things we can easily replace to stop the madness!


Tracy Balazy September 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

This borders on embarrassing, but in preparation for my last garage sale, I saved and reused sticky price tags I pulled off stuff I bought at OTHER garage sales.

I have No-Impact Man, which I bought at a used book sale. Great, inspirational read!


Deb September 21, 2010 at 1:06 pm

May sound funny to be obsessive about reducing water consumption in the wet Pacific NW, but I am.

I keep a gallon jug at the kitchen sink, catch all of the cold water while waiting for the hot. Uses – tea kettle, dog water, house plant water, coffee maker, etc. In the summer, I keep a pail in the shower and catch the cold water there as well. Use it to water my potted plants/herb garden & tomatos. And – carrying that pail is an upper body workout. Oy!


Alicia September 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

We had a baby over the summer and we are chosing to cloth diaper him. Plus, we planted a vegetable garden.


Lilypad September 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm

We have only one child! Check out “Maybe One: A Case for Smaller Families” by Bill McKibben.
And we’re vegetarians, actually about 85% vegan. I have to sneak that in every chance I get, because it makes a huge difference. People, please stop buying meat and eggs from factory farms!!
(Soap box put away for the night.) (And I don’t actually need the book, I already read it from the library, so if I win I’ll pass it on.)


Tracy Balazy September 22, 2010 at 8:43 am

I’m always glad to hear someone’s vegetarian or vegan. I don’t eat meat, but still some dairy (cheese from small Michigan farms that practice sustainable, cruelty-free methods, and eggs from an elderly woman in Detroit who loves her chickens — I love to go see them in her yard when I buy eggs, it’s nice to see where your food comes from!).

I have no children, and “recycled” (adopted from shelters) pets.


Lilypad September 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Hi Tracy,
I eat a little cheese too, maybe once a week and try to get a local kind. But I do have a weakness for Tillamook’s vegetarian cheddar (vegetarian rennet) from down Katy’s way, which I hereby stretch into being local because it’s from “Cascadia” (British Columbia/Washington/Oregon). I am in Seattle. I would LOVE to have my own chickens again (I did as a child) so I could eat eggs and know the chickens were well-treated and happy and would never be eaten when they stopped producing. That’s on the “someday” list. Good for you that you have eggs from happy hens! My son (9) would get such a kick out of watching them roam around. And lastly, I should have clarified my comment to say that I have one “human” child because we also have a feline child who came to us via a shelter. The shelter babies are always the most grateful, although I assure my son, I won’t leave him in a box by the side of the road to teach him a lesson…that’s how his kitty sister was found…some days it seems like a good idea, though! 😉


shauna huntoon September 22, 2010 at 5:49 am

I used to drive car everyday, now I just drive 3-4 days a week and plan all my errands so I am not just driving around.


Shannon September 22, 2010 at 6:50 am

Our ways of contributing to the environment are compost and recycling and all natural cleaning products for the most part. I also buy all the kiddos and my clothes used and try to only purchase and eat whole foods and organic when possible. Just doing those things has seemed like a huge shift in our way of life. I hope to implement more as time passes but with 5 of us every change takes a while to get used to!


Chessa September 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

breastfeeding! also composting, recycling, not buying new/buying used, belonging to a CSA, shopping farmers markets, being vegetarian…


Kimberly September 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

Don’t say “It’s about time”, but my kids and I just set up a recycling center on the back porch. I only did it as part of homeschool since I just started that this year. Turns out, we have cut our trash in half! I never thought we even had enough that we could recycle. There would be more if our center accepted glass, too.


Kat C September 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I can’t win (I’m Canadian) unless you mail it to my friend in the states!

Anyways, what we do —

We gave up our car almost two years ago and primarily walk or take public transit. We rent a car when we need it on the weekend. Saves a lot of money, and is good for the environment.

We also compost and recycle. I have a veggie garden which (if it stops raining) produces some veggies throughout the summer. I try not to buy coffee in paper cups and instead make coffee at home and bring a mug with me. Next on my list is to make some cloth napkins to use at home.


glenn September 22, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Eating local, seasonal food is my favorite small step. I get to know many of the farmers, it doesn’t have to travel far, and it tastes great.


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