043008Ballum.jpgLike No Impact Man before him, Brooklyn resident Scott Ballum embarked last month on a year long mission to radically examine his own patterns of consumption. He’s calling it the Consume®econnection Project, and his plan sounds simple yet exhausting:

The Mission: A year-long effort to meet the laborers and craftsmen who build what I buy – and put a human face on consumption. For every transaction, there must be a personal connection with someone along the production chain.

To that end, he road-tripped to the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Kentucky and sneaked away from the guided tour so he could personally shake hands with Jude, one of eighteen barrel-rollers at the distillery. Now Ballum can suck down unlimited Maker’s for the year with a clean conscience. He also toured the Brooklyn Brewery to meet the folks and learn more about their process – turns out only 1/3 of their beer is made in Williamsburg; the rest is brewed in Utica. (A Sixpoint tour is definitely in order.)

Besides booze, the 30-year-old graphic designer's been surprised to find that 90% of his purchases are for food. So he’s decided that all his groceries for the next year are to come from Greenmarkets and the Park Slope Food Coop, where he’ll have “the opportunity to discover where everything hails from and visit as many (over time) as I can.” You can keep tabs on Ballum’s progress on his blog, where his first month is marked by agonizing over issues like whether eating an unidentified burger at Williamsburg’s MonkeyTown is “cheating.” [Via PSFK.]