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

Colin Beavan

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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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.

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"No Impact" Week at Denison University

For a week, Olivia Aguilar's Environmental Studies 101 class entered a world with no plastic water bottles, no paper towels, no food waste, and no carbon footprint. For one week, the class attempted to have as little impact on the environment as possible. The week-long experience draws inspiration from the book "No Impact Man"in which author Colin Beavan spends an entire year learning to carry on everyday life with little or no environmental impact.

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Introduction to the No Impact Experiment

Based on the sucess of No Impact Man, Colin Beavan has created the No Impact Experiment for others to assess and reduce their carbon footprint.

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No Impact Man by Colin Beavan--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Colin Beavan's book 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. What does it really take to live eco-effectively? For one year, Colin Beavan swore off plastic and toxins, turned off his electricity, went organic, became a bicycle nut, and tried to save the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife a

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Reviews

Praise for No Impact Man

“The No Impact Experiment changed Colin Beavan and reading No Impact Man will change you.” —Annie Leonard, creator of “The Story of Stuff”

“Far from being a movement of self-denial and stern lectures about having too much fun, the 'no impact' mind-set is actually about increasing fulfillment and happiness by asking us to think about what makes us truly happy and what's really important in our lives.” —Arianna Huffington

No Impact Man is a deeply honest and riveting account of the year in which Colin Beavan and his wife attempted to do what most of us would consider impossible. What might seem inconvenient to the point of absurdity instead teaches lessons that all of us need to learn. We as individuals can take action to address important social problems. One person can make a difference.” —Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat

“Profound . . . Beavan's project has significant emotional and ecological heft.  No Impact Man works, most of all, because Beavan is intelligent, funny, provocative, and, above all, honest.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“There's something inspiring about a smart, committed person coming to an elegantly simple conclusion.” —Los Angeles Times

“You have to give Colin Beavan credit; the man put his money where his mouth is. A self-proclaimed 'guilty liberal' tired of the world's general ecological decline, he decided to change his life. And in no small way. Even better, he did it with a sense of humor.” —The Boston Globe
“There's something of Thoreau in Colin Beavan's great project--but a fully engaged, connected, and right-this-minute helpful version. It's a moment when we need to have as little  impact in our own lives as possible--and as much impact in our political lives as we can possibly muster. Beavan shows how!” —Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

“From their first baby steps (no takeout) to their giant leap (no toilet paper), the Beavans’ experiment in ecological responsibility was a daunting escapade in going green . . . So fervent as to make Al Gore look like a profligate wastrel, Beavan’s commitment to the cause is, nonetheless, infectiously inspiring and uproariously entertaining.” —Booklist

“With thorough research, Beavan updates his blog (noimpactman.com) with convincing statistical evidence, while discovering new ways to reduce consumption and his family’s environmental footprint . . . An inspiring, persuasive argument that individuals are not helpless in the battle against environmental degradation and global warming.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Beavan captures his own shortcomings with candor and wit and offers surprising revelations . . . [Readers] will mull over his thought-provoking reflections and hopefully reconsider their own lifestyles.” —Publishers Weekly

“Colin Beavan has the disarming and uniquely remedial ability to make you laugh while he's making you feel like a swine, and what's more, to make you not only want to, but to actually do something, about it.” —Norah Vincent, author of Voluntary Madness

No Impact Man is a subversive book--not because it preaches a radical environmental agenda, but because it gives the secret to personal rebellion against the bitterness of a man's own compromises.” —Arthur Brooks, author of Gross National Happiness 

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About the Author

Colin Beavan

Colin Beavan is the author of 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. He lives in New York City.

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Available Formats and Book Details

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
Colin Beavan

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
September 2009
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429952576
ISBN10: 1429952571
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages, Includes an Appendix, Notes, and an Index
$9.99

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
September 2009
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427208026
ISBN10: 1427208026
Audio Run Time: 7:30
$14.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
September 2009
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780374222888
ISBN10: 0374222886
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages, Includes an Appendix, Notes, and an Index
$25.00

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2010
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312429836
ISBN10: 0312429835
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 288 pages
$15.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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