No Impact Man

No Impact Man

The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes about Himself and Our

By Colin Beavan

Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374222888, 274pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2009

Description

A guilty liberal finally snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, becomes a bicycle nut, turns off his power, and generally becomes a tree-hugging lunatic who tries to save the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his baby daughter and Prada-wearing, Four Seasons loving wife along for the ride. And that's just the beginning. Bill McKibben meets Bill Bryson in this seriously engaging look at one man's decision to put his money where his mouth is and go off the grid for one year while still living in New York City to see if it's possible to make no net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no air-conditioning, no television . . .

What would it be like to try to live a no-impact lifestyle? Is it possible? Could it catch on? Is living this way more satisfying or less satisfying? Harder or easier? Is it worthwhile or senseless? Are we all doomed or can our culture reduce the barriers to sustainable living so it becomes as easy as falling off a log? These are the questions at the heart of this whole mad endeavor, via which Colin Beavan hopes to explain to the rest of us how we can realistically live a more "eco-effective" and by turns more content life in an age of inconvenient truths.



About the Author
Writer and social change activist Colin Beavan attracted international attention for his year-long lifestyle-redesign project and the wildly popular book, No Impact Man, and the Sundance-selected documentary film that it inspired. He has appeared on Nightline, Good Morning America, The Colbert Report, The Montel Williams Show, and NPR, and his story has been featured in news outlets from Time magazine to the New York Times. A sought-after speaker by wide-ranging audiences, he also consults with businesses on improving eco-friendly and human-centered practices. Beavan is the author of two other books, Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America s First Shadow War and Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, the Atlantic, and the New York Times. He is the founder of the No Impact Project and a dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Praise For No Impact Man

“From their first baby steps (no takeout) to their giant leap (no toilet paper), the Beavans’ experiment in ecological responsibility was a daunting escapade in going green . . . So fervent as to make Al Gore look like a profligate wastrel, Beavan’s commitment to the cause is, nonetheless, infectiously inspiring and uproariously entertaining.”
Booklist

“With thorough research, Beavan updates his blog (noimpactman.com) with convincing statistical evidence, while discovering new ways to reduce consumption and his family’s environmental footprint . . . An inspiring, persuasive argument that individuals are not helpless in the battle against environmental degradation and global warming.”
Kirkus Reviews

Beavan captures his own shortcomings with candor and wit and offers surprising revelations . . . [Readers] will mull over his thought-provoking reflections and hopefully reconsider their own lifestyles.”
Publishers Weekly

No Impact Man is a deeply honest and riveting account of the year in which Colin Beavan and his wife attempted to do what most of us would consider impossible. What might seem inconvenient to the point of absurdity instead teaches lessons that all of us need to learn. We as individuals can take action to address important social problems. One person can make a difference.”
—Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat

“Colin Beavan has the disarming and uniquely remedial ability to make you laugh while he's making you feel like a swine, and what's more, to make you not only want to, but to actually do something, about it.”     
—Norah Vincent, author of Voluntary Madness

“There's something of Thoreau in Colin Beavan's great project--but a fully engaged, connected, and right-this-minute helpful version. It's a moment when we need to have as little  impact in our own lives as possible--and as much impact in our political lives as we can possibly muster. Beavan shows how!”
—Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

"No Impact Man is a subversive book--not because it preaches a radical environmental agenda, but because it gives the secret to personal rebellion against the bitterness of a man's own compromises."
—Arthur Brooks, author of Gross National Happiness 

"The No Impact Experiment changed Colin Beavan and reading No Impact Man will change you."
—Annie Leonard, creator of "The Story of Stuff"