Thursday, November 17, 2011

No Impact Man

I mentioned the discovery of a book, blog, and then documentary of "No Impact Man."  We immediately requested the documentary at the library, and finally had the pleasure of watching it.  No Impact Man documentary follows the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they leave behind their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live an entire year without making any environmental impact.  Colin is determined to give up everything from new items to taxis to take out to electricity whilst making no garbage to top it off.  He and his family begin to bicycle, scooter, and walk.  They eat only local foods.  They light their apartment by candlelight.  They learn a lot.

The movie was really inspiring for me.  I was impressed with how hard they worked and all the new things they were willing to try to take the experience as far as possible.  The film was also incredibly real, showing the hurtful reactions they received from others, the "cheats" they sometimes did, and of course the good times together as a family as well.  His wife really had no inclinations towards environmental friendliness beforehand, so it was really a stretch for her most of the time, and thus it was encouraging to see just a regular person make such great strides as well.  Plus it was so funny and entertaining.

The media gave them a lot of flack and were calling it The Year Without Toilet Paper to make it a joke, and my favourite line is Colin's response: "What if we called it the year I lost 20 pounds without going to the gym once, or the year we didn't watch TV and we became much better parents as a result, or the year we ate locally and seasonally and it ended up reversing my wife's pre-diabetic condition."  There are so many benefits to this change of lifestyle.  Even small steps in the right direction make big differences.

Here is the trailer.  I highly recommend watching the film!  Free at your local library.


  1. Okay first off...LOVE the new profile pic!! Next...thanks for letting us know you can request this movie at the library b/c I really wanted to see it. I am now going to request it!

  2. Thanks for bringing this documentary to my attention; I found it on Netflix and am psyched to watch it. I also want to say that I just started reading your blog and I love it!

  3. I don't think that candles are the best option for lighting his home. George Monbiot states in his book "Heat" that candles are less efficient than electric lights. Especially if you take the manufacturing of candles into account (even more so if they're petroleum based).

    I'm still interested in seeing this though.