Book Club – No Impact Man

Book Review of Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man







Read this book to find out what it’s like to live with no net environmental impact for 1 full year in a Manhattan-based apartment. One family. One year. No negative environmental impact. Meanwhile they just had their first child, a daughter of 1.  

By Nadia Bouwsma

Ever felt completely ridiculous to go to the gym to run in the same place on an electronic device? For 1 year Colin Beavan and his family turned off their electricity, they went on an organic diet, cycled much more, and decided to not use plastic or toxins in their day-to-day life.

In ‘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,’ a.k.a. ‘No Impact Man,’ Colin Beavan details how he and his family transformed their lifestyle in a no impact manner. This meant no using elevators, no pre-packaged products, no television, no subway, and no trash.

Do you think this could be possible while living in one of the most expensive areas in the world? Or is creating an environmental impact an inescapable part of living a modern lifestyle? Beavan broke down his life into six areas: trash, sustainable eating (eat local), reduced power use, environmentally-friendly water use, carbon-producing transportation (live without), and inconspicuous consumption (not buying new) and explains how he tackled each area in the book, and has in addition listed many concrete action points on the website,

Read Colin Beavan’s book ‘No Impact Man’ or watch the documentary with the same title to find out how you can make your life have the least amount of negative environmental impact possible and Beavan also speaks of building a positive environmental impact. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.


More resources

TEDxPotomac – Colin Beavan – To Hell with Sustainability:

What’s good for people and for the planet: On how to create the most sustainable lifestyle.

No Impact Man – The Documentary

Follow the Beavan family as they commit to making no net environmental impact for a full year while living in an Manhattan-based apartment.

No Impact Man – The Book

More detailed experiences on what it’s like to live a no negative impact lifestyle in urban Manhattan.

Colin Beavan – No Impact Man – Interview with ABC Radio

On how his own lifestyle was contributing to the problem


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