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

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

by Colin Beavan
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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 by Colin Beavan

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429952576
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 278,048
File size: 359 KB

About the Author

Colin Beavan is the author of No Impact Man as well as two previous books that have absolutely nothing to do with the environment: Fingerprints: The Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science and Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America’s First Shadow War. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, and the New York Times, and he posts regularly at No Impact Man. He lives in New York City.
Colin Beavan is the author of No Impact Man as well as two previous books that have absolutely nothing to do with the environment: Fingerprints: The Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science and Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America’s First Shadow War. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, and the New York Times, and he posts regularly at No Impact Man. He lives in New York City.

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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 th 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MaryZMZ More than 1 year ago
How much of an Impact Man is No Impact Man? Imagine going without having trash, buying anything new, and using no electricity for an entire year. That seems easy right? Well, in No Impact Man, Colin Beavan departs on an escapade, along with his family, to reduce their carbon footprint in the world to have no impact. This meant doing absolutely everything humanly possibly to make no impact at all. Of course it is not possible to make utterly no impact as Colin points out; with just breathing we make an impact breathing out carbon dioxide. Naturally, Colin and his family do not just wake up one morning and decide they want to make no carbon impact on the world. Colin is a writer who is conscious about the environment and the decline of it in the world around us everyday. He begins his adventure by deciding to write a book about the impact humans have on the world and how it is getting worse. As Colin's manager points out, people do not like to be told they are wrong and should be doing the opposite of what they are used to. So Colin comes up with the idea to change himself and become No Impact Man; along with his family changing with him. He takes his family through phases to gradually get into the "motions" of having "no impact." However, the first phase of no trash becomes difficult just by simply grabbing a slice of pizza. Later on, another stage of the project is no automatic transportation. Colin and his family stopped riding in cars, trains, planes, and elevators. This meant everywhere they either walked or rode a bicycle; exceptions are made but only when they deem it necessary. Further on in the year, other stages were for them to have local food, and no electricity. Colin starts the project with no ideal of how challenging it will be. Through No Impact Man, Colin raises issues to attention which basically all fall under the category labeled the real meaning of progress. Issues are raised including progress that makes this novel is high-quality read for any college freshman. Colin questions if making new technologies is really progress at all and why we are not trying to get water to people who need it instead. I strongly agree with Colin at this point because we make these technologies but what good are they really doing us. I do not deny some of them help us but a lot just make newer items of what we already have. Is worth a life and many more just come up with some smaller newer version of some item? Colin set out to change the world by changing himself; he may be No Impact Man but what about the impact he has made and continues to make on the world. He changed my thinking in aspects of my life that I never dreamed would change by reading No Impact Man, so I definitely recommend this novel to any college freshman and everyone. You experience the Beavan family's journey along with them and get encouraged in your own life.
MorganMonkey More than 1 year ago
The book "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan was exciting and emotional. The book is about a man, Colin, and his family undergoing the project of the No Impact Man in order to save the environment by cutting out resources that are harmful to our planet. He found it hard at first but towards the end of the book they finally get used to it and even though it was difficult he never gave up which is another reason I like this book. I would definitely recommend it because I think if you read this book you will take initiative to help out and come up with your own projects to help save the environment. This book helped me start my own journey and so far I have cut down on how many places I go a day to save oil and gas. Also, I turn the lights off when I go somewhere and my family and I have cut down on the amount of trash we have each day. To conclude, I hope you will read this book and hopefully get the same IMPACT from it as I did.
LL21 More than 1 year ago
Maintaining a relationship with his wife, ensuring he is a good father, trying to live a better life than he was living before, and meanwhile saving the planet one page at a time is Colin Beavan's challenge for one full year. I highly recommend his non-fictional book No Impact Man for both college freshman and people of various ages. It not only entertains its readers with an interesting story of how Colin and his family try to cause absolutely no impact on our environment but also informs the general public on the simple things humans can do to ensure a good future for our planet. Before reading the book consider questions such as what state of emergency is our planet in now, why does it matter that we make choices that are environmentally friendly, and who is responsible for making sure our planet can maintain life in the future? Yes, I know that not everyone believes in global warming, the greenhouse effect, or that we won't have clean water for the generations after us, but before reading this book that is what I thought too. Colin's use of astonishing statistics, terrible circumstances, and personal experiences, of what will happen if human beings do not change to better benefit the planet, sure changed my perspective. I don't want to give anything away but he doesn't just talk about reduce, reuse, and recycle. He expands upon how people harm our Earth but are not satisfied with their lives, are too absorbed in material things to enjoy the moments they have with each other, and make choices based on momentary desires rather than long term needs. After finishing the book I have reflected on my life and have noticed that being too absorbed in material things was one of my problems. I did not expect to learn this lesson about myself from a book about saving the world. Reading this novel has made a difference in my life. I hope it does the same for you. So what are you waiting for? Flip open the cover and start your journey to a better you, a better life, and most of all a better planet! -LL
TalaK More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
_Carly-L More than 1 year ago
In the book No Impact Man author Colin Beavan created an engaging personal narrative to shed light on the prominent issue of global warming and the impact humans have on the world around us. He was able to use a very interesting and relatable approach to emphasize the problem and how everyone seems to support it yet makes no effort in doing anything about, himself included. He turned this around by taking the matters into his own hands and him and his wife and daughter actually attempted to live without making a ecological footprint. The added details of his, in diapers still, daughter Isabella portrayed a clear view of how people are capable of doing this from the start and enjoying it while adding an adorable insight too. I loved the way it was written and how the facts behind what he was doing were incorporated into the experience he had with this challenging task. His voice really stood out and made him very relatable and humorous to me as a reader. He did not try and make himself seem superior for doing this neither did he try and play the role of an educator. He was brutally honest with his experience within the book. Beavan weaved philosophical views on the current state of ignorance people possess without attacking society or pointing figures on who's to blame. In today’s day in age I have found it might be very hard to get a point across without offending people and I think Beavan did it well, which was his intent. Beavan makes several eye opening conclusions about America itself and the way we’ve been shaped to take take and take without thinking twice. Overall the whole book furthered my knowledge on the subject and allowed me to gain a new perspective of how I live my life. Not only did I learn about the difficulties of living totally green, what it would take to do that and how much we do consume but I also learned a lot about human nature and living appreciating living simply. There were many components that would capture the enthusiasm of a variety of readers. It prompts a change no matter how big or small and really do think this book makes a difference to the people that read it. It allows the reflection of what we do day to day that we can make slight change in to work together to make a huge difference and I highly recommend it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love his writing style. Its very personal. He's able to mix in a lot of information from published journals, books and scientific literature with personal anecdotes about his experiences making real-life choices. I once lamented at a local panel 'bout local food about how hard it was for me, the average Joe, to make informed choices about food. And an audience panel chastised me saying something like there's nothing more important than what we put in our bodies. I don't know if that's true. Colin's book spoke to me in that he seemed to really grapple with the extrapolation of personal energy vs our natural resources.
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We had to read this book for an English class, and in my opinion it wad too long. There where certain parts of the book he could've left out and you could still undrrstand the book without them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a dude on the biggest ego trip ever... I couldn't even make it three chapters in. I have no clue how this book got published.
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LindiBaxley More than 1 year ago
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.
ris1191 More than 1 year ago
Imagine being Eco-friendly. Hard or not so hard? You decide, but imagine having to take it to the extremes and in the middle of New York City, Manhattan. Well one guy decided to take that challenge and he wrote all about it. No Impact Man by Colin Beavan is about the adventures that this man goes through in one year. He not only finds the true purpose of this whole project but he is able to find his true self. He is able to communicate and spend more time with his family. He talks of all the stages that he went through from having to ride a bike everywhere to using no toilet paper and for a year. Crazy right? Crazy but he did it and dragged his family along with him. He had many troubles as well, many challenges he had to face. "Because our systems are not designed to be sustainable, I had to swim against the cultural tide, and sometimes I got tired (Beavan 61)." Will Colin be able to go throughout the year living a no impact life? Pick up this book and find out for yourself.
LCenname More than 1 year ago
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!!
DGreen94 More than 1 year ago
No impact man is definitely a great read. This non-fiction book on Colin is very enlightening. This is simply about a man living life as a normal person when he unexpectedly overcomes an epiphany and decides to have an Impact on the world by not making an Impact. During this journey to a "New World" Colin goes through a hardship with his family and others around him. Colin expresses the hardship of having NO IMPACT. Reading this book I realize that I was making an Impact, just not a good one. I realized that in my everyday life I was technically killing the planet we live in. I can honestly say that Colin has made and Impact on my life. Because of reading this book I now recycle more, use less water when washing dishes & various things. & I also use a towel made out of cloth to dry my hands instead of the leading "Bounty" brand. Lol. If you are reading this review I recommend that you read NO IMPACT MAN & I guarantee it will make an impact on your life whether it is good or bad it will affect you.