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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

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Connects environmentalism with happiness

I was interested in this book to see how did he actually live in NYC while making no impact. On top of that, he really shows how living simply can enrich not only the environment but also yourself and the people around you.

posted by 3257712 on July 29, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

decent book

no impact. what does that mean. well to the author of no impact man, colin beavan it meant convincing his family to go an entire year without doing anything to affect the planet.this book was inspirational but not something that i would recommened if you cant pay attent...
no impact. what does that mean. well to the author of no impact man, colin beavan it meant convincing his family to go an entire year without doing anything to affect the planet.this book was inspirational but not something that i would recommened if you cant pay attention. the idea behind the book was great and the thought of what colin did was amazing but it was a bit dry. there were a few good parts through out the book but it was very detail and data oriented but your welcome to read if your into that. so if you wanna learn what no impact means read this book.

posted by 4747274 on September 20, 2010

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    An incredible novel!

    One man goes against the odds of all of mankind's necessities in order to live a no impact lifestyle, in New York City, for one long and life-changing year. Colin Beavan, his wife Michelle, and their one year old daughter Isabella, take a chance to experience life without hurting, in any way, shape, or form, the life of the planet we live on. Not only does this book take you by the hand and allow you to experience this project as if it were you for a year, but it also forces you to think, "What can I do?"

    As a student enrolled in University of North Carolina of Wilmington, I feel I have benefitted a great deal from this novel. Although I do not believe I will ever be determined enough to ever become no impact woman, I have defiantly inherited many of the things Beavan practices into my daily lifestyle.

    This novel truly pushes you to think, "Outside the box," and, thoroughly analyze all of your daily routines from brushing your teeth, to driving a car. This exquisite piece pushes every reader not only to regret past actions, but to also permanently change.

    I would recommend this novel to any person, any age, at any time. This book would be perfect for anyone who is looking to be persuaded or for simply an interesting read. I can honestly say that this novel his opened my eyes to the urgency of global warming, and never will I ever regret reading a single word.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    This book brings up so many fantastic points about the future of

    This book brings up so many fantastic points about the future of our planet. The author is very forthcoming with his mistakes and even writes with an imperfect tone that makes him and his entire project relatable. It will have you questioning how happy you have the potential to be when you're being kind to yourself and the earth. Very inspiring!

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  • Posted January 1, 2013

    I have to admire Colin Beavan for his consistent attempt to make

    I have to admire Colin Beavan for his consistent attempt to make no impact on the environment. I admire his wife, daughter, and dog even more for joining him on his urban adventure (he attempts this feat while living in a 9th-floor apartment in NYC—and his self-imposed rules prohibit the use of an elevator). Beavan is a good writer; his words and his tone truly capture the concurrent folly, heartbreak, earnestness, absurdity, and exasperation engendered by his attempt to live for one year without damaging the planet. And his reflective prose clarifies for us (without being too preachy) just how dependent we are on the alleged conveniences of modern life. I’m not sure if I could even attempt one-tenth of what Beavan does to improve the planet, but his example proves that we—and by we, I mean the human race—must do something to avert the inevitable disasters that our careless stewardship of the planet will evoke. I’m not sure, however, that I share Beavan’s optimism. I suspect that most people will have to be forced to make changes that will require them to do more to save the planet.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    A NEW HERO

    There are a lot of little things that people can do to help save this toxic waste dump we call Earth. But there is one man that takes it to an extreme. Colin Beavan took on the task of going a year with his family, essentially creating no environmental impact on the Earth. Did I mention he lived in the middle of New York City? No transportation, including elevators; no making trash; minimal electricity; and minimal water. Not to mention that everything he eats has to come from within 250 miles of his home. Both Colin and his wife Michelle go through this journey together with open minds and the yearning to learn about the different ways they can reduce their ecological footprint. Even their daughter Isabella is excited to trade in her throw-away plastic diapers for cloth reusable ones in order to reduce their trash completely. With their experiences on their new bikes, and creating problems with their parents from canceling holiday trips Colin and his small family embark on the adventure of their life times. I highly recommend this book to all because i know it will change your prospective on the world. It did with me. And thus emerges a new super hero of our time; NO IMPACT MAN!!

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Read this book

    No Impact Man by Colin Beavan is a remarkable book that can be read anywhere, anytime. This book is funny, serious, and above all life changing. Colin Beavan, his wife and daughter embark on a motivating journey as they try to make no impact on the world whatsoever. They face many hardships but at the same time find themselves enjoying their "free" life more than the one they had before. The main point in this book is for Americans to realize what they can do to help change the world and keep it clean, safe, and long-lasting. I agree with the book when is talks about how Americans can make a difference even, because sometimes Americans do not want to change because we are stuck in our ways. This book is an eye-opener because it describes the environmental problems in America and explains how serious they are. This book is also intriguing because as it progresses Colin Beavan is faced with many dilemmas and somehow he always gets out of them and finds an answer. This book has opened my eyes and made me realize that I can make a change, and so can you. No Impact Man will have you interested and in suspense about what will come from Colin's experiment. I insist that if you read something in this book you become interested in, that you look it up. I suggest this book for every age group, whether you be 8 or 80, you can read this book and still love it.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    No Impact DOES in fact have an Impact!

    It is rare that I find a book to influence a substantial change in any aspect of my life. However that is just the case with "No Impact Man." This book is about a man that decides, its time for a change. Not only does he say he wants to have no impact, he actually acts on his idea. This book is by no means a success story, or a "holier than thou" tale of a man that does everything right and leaves the rest of the world in "the ashes of their own destruction." This book is about a man and his family TRYING to have no impact. there are numerous trials and tribulations throughout the book. Trough my reading of No Impact Man I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a true story about the trials of a family and how they grow closer through the various situations they are faced with. It proves that no one can truly be perfect no matter how hard they try. It shows that even if you don't go all out like Colin and his family, just little changes in your daily life, like turning out a light or unplugging a charger, can have a huge impact on the planet.or in this case, none at all.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Changed My Life!

    No Impact man is a non-fiction novel by Colin Beavan. It's about a "guilty Liberal who attempts to save the planet" by not making any environmental impact for one whole year. The book is very entertaining, and contrary to what you may expect, Colin Beavan doesn't preach, he doesn't tell you he's better than you, and he isn't derogatory. I found it very interesting to read because he introduces new concepts of how we can save the environment while helping ourselves. In environmentalism, most people think we have to get rid of things (Less, not more), but Colin Beavan said this wasn't the case. He wanted more, not less. Instead of having less cars on the road he wanted more energy efficient cars. This idea of "More, not less" is what kept me turning pages until the end. The book was very educational for me and it has caused me to make some changes to my lifestyle, like carrying around a metal water bottle. It's rare that I like a book so much that I change the way I live in response to it. I recommend this book or everyone from age 14 to age 60, because everyone can take away something different from this.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    Amazing

    The book No Impact Man by Colin Beavan is a non-fiction story of Colin, his wife Michelle, and his daughter Isabella standing out from those around them in New York by making a difference. As a family they undergo the no impact man project. They set out on their yearlong project making changes to better their lifestyle while trying to "make as little environmental impact as possible." For this year long project Colin divided it into seven stages. Though their transition from their everyday lifestyle to little impact seemed like a good idea to Colin it was one not thought all the way through. During this project they faced various complications. In my opinion the beginning of the book seemed pretty dull but once I read further I was fascinated when he actually started to make major changes I became more interested in what he was going to do next. Personally I would recommend this book to anyone that is or wants to be an environmentalist or someone who wants to make a difference.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    A Humorously Inspirational Book

    "I'm not sure that reducing individual resource use is the entire way forward. At the root, religious philosophies say to do less harm, yes, but they also say do more good. There is a limit to how much less harm I can do. But my potential for good is unlimited. All of our potentials for good are unlimited." I believe that this quote reflects Colin Beavan's principle throughout his No Impact project, for he is not just creating a lifestyle that leaves less of an impact, but also creating a system of fundamentals that encourages everyone to pursue a more environmentally and socially conscious population. Essentially, people should not simply focus on working to reduce the negative, but also enforce and improve the positive in our everyday lives. Colin's project proves this to be possible, perhaps not on the level at which he attempted (such as becoming completely independent of transportation that forms carbon emission), but at a personal level that we can all manage for ourselves.
    I would recommend this book to people who would like to be inspired to make even the slightest differences in their lifestyles to better the environment for themselves, as well as the rest of the world that operates just as they do, but may see it differently. We cannot expect the rest of the world to change, just as Colin accepted; however, we can create any alteration that we want to see take place. This book is not only filled with facts on the changing climate and, ultimately, changing world, but also a narrative on Colin's successes and failures through this project. The way that his family commits to this lifestyle is extremely inspiring, and one should begin the read with an expectation of a desire for change.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    Great Info And Purpose, But Longer Than It Needed To Be.

    No Impact Man by Colin Beavan has a great point and purpose, but it is much longer and statistic filled than it needs to be. In the book, Beavan basically explains his life as he spends a year creating no environmental impact whatsoever. I think the book has a great purpose, which is trying to make people more aware of the environmental crisis and doing the best he can to help stop the crisis himself. The problem for me is that he puts way too many stats in the book. For every 3 pages of plot, he adds 5 pages of statistical information about how bad America and the rest of the world is at limiting the creation of trash and carbon footprint. Don't get me wrong, a lot of these facts are absolutely astounding and very interesting, but there are far too many in the novel to keep the reader from falling asleep. Another thing I don't really like about the novel is the writing style Beavan uses throughout the book. Instead of moving right along with the plot and keeping the story flowing, he will skip back and forth from point to point. He will be explaining one thing one second, then go back in the story to another point he already went over, and then goes back to the point he was originally talking about. He goes all over the place and repeats himself a lot, and that adds to the length of the book, which is already too long because of all of the stats he includes. On the other side of the spectrum, I do think this book will change the way I think about a lot of things I do. I probably will use a lot less trash, walk when I can, eat healthier, and use electricity because I read the book. The little things you can do to save the planet little by little are amazing. With that said, I would not recommend this book to you if you were looking for a quick and easy read that gets straight down to the initial point. If you do not mind a long read with a lot of trivial information or if you are a stats kind of person, then I would indeed recommend this book to you.

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  • Posted September 20, 2010

    Great Info And Purpose, But Longer Than It Needed To Be.

    No Impact Man by Colin Beavan has a great point and purpose, but it is much longer and statistic filled than it needs to be. In the book, Beavan basically explains his life as he spends a year creating no environmental impact whatsoever. I think the book has a great purpose, which is trying to make people more aware of the environmental crisis and doing the best he can to help stop the crisis himself. The problem for me is that he puts way too many stats in the book. For every 3 pages of plot, he adds 5 pages of statistical information about how bad America and the rest of the world is at limiting the creation of trash and carbon footprint. Don't get me wrong, a lot of these facts are absolutely astounding and very interesting, but there are far too many in the novel to keep the reader from falling asleep. Another thing I don't really like about the novel is the writing style Beavan uses throughout the book. Instead of moving right along with the plot and keeping the story flowing, he will skip back and forth from point to point. He will be explaining one thing one second, then go back in the story to another point he already went over, and then goes back to the point he was originally talking about. He goes all over the place and repeats himself a lot, and that adds to the length of the book, which is already too long because of all of the stats he includes. On the other side of the spectrum, I do think this book will change the way I think about a lot of things I do. I probably will use a lot less trash, walk when I can, eat healthier, and use electricity because I read the book. The little things you can do to save the planet little by little are amazing. With that said, I would not recommend this book to you if you were looking for a quick and easy read that gets straight down to the initial point. If you do not mind a long read with a lot of trivial information or if you are a stats kind of person, then I would indeed recommend this book to you.

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  • Posted November 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It's More Interesting Than Some May Think!

    Well, if you read a book and at the end find you feel that the author lives right next door ... and your like him! ...then ..

    This is a very "involving" book.

    You have to keep in mind, that this is one man's journey ... yet being shared in the context of "man's impact upon the earth that we all tread."

    It's a very personable narrative ... I liked this young man ... I listened to his story. He made it easy ... to listen to his story.

    It may be one of those books, on to your bookshelf you're not sure where to place it, but, you find a place ... you keep it!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting

    I enjoyed the journey Colin and his family went on and the unexpected impacts on their everyday life. Although extreme in many ways, and he admits that they are not going to live exactly the same way forever, it did make you consider how much we take for granted and how much we waste. I'm not sure how much research he did on environmental impact of certain products we use, such as paper. Paper is made from a renewable resource, recyclable and highly recycled compared to other things, reusable, biodegradable, even compostable; so I don't share his aversion to using paper products. Overall, I enjoyed the book and it made me think. I haven't gotten rid of my TV yet, but I'm seriously considering scaling back my cable service to basic.

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