Colin and his family spent a year trying to live "no impact", well, as much as one can while living in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. They reduced their consumption considerably in the process and last year a documentary about their trials and travails came out as well as his book, No Impact Man, all titled after his blog. Here's the description of the book from the publisher:
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.
For the last year or so, Colin has also been running the No Impact Project, which helps to educate folks on how to live a lower impact lifestyle. The project will also soon release a free curriculum for secondary students for educators to instruct kids on such topics as consumption, energy, food, transportation and water. It's pretty cool, so if you have kids or are a teacher, make sure you check it out.
Anyway, the book is a recap of his year-long attempt to lower the family's carbon footprint. The most entertaining parts are definitely the resulting conflict with his wife, Michelle, who ends up really providing a counter-weight that represents how most of America feels about making these changes. For those of you struggling with partners or kids about the changes you are trying to make, you can certainly relate.
If you are a fan of Colin's or are just hearing about him, then now is your chance to win his book! If you are interesting in entering the book giveaway, add your name to the comments of this post. You have until midnight Friday, 1/8, PST to enter. I'll announce the winner this weekend.
Eco-stunt or eco-sincerity?
Seattle premiere of No Impact Man
No Impact Man