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No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty…
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No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the… (edition 2010)

by Colin Beavan

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313None35,324 (3.76)19
Member:jimrgill
Title: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
Authors:Colin Beavan
Info:Picador (2010), Edition: 1, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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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

  1. 20
    The Story of Stuff: How Our Obsession with Stuff Is Trashing the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-and a Vision for Change by Annie Leonard (lemontwist)
  2. 10
    The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs (Deesirings)
    Deesirings: Both of these are a memoir of a "rules-based" experience of living for a one year period
  3. 00
    The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in life and business by Charles Duhigg (mene)
    mene: In "The Power of Habit", it is described why people do things a certain way. The reason people buy so many things is also explained. "No Impact Man" is a good example of someone changing their habits (in a very extreme way). The author of "No Impact Man" also talks about why people buy so many things, among other things.… (more)
  4. 00
    Plastikfreie Zone: Wie meine Familie es schafft, fast ohne Kunststoff zu leben by Sandra Krautwaschl (mene)
    mene: Both books are about families who try to live more green, though Plastikfreie Zone focuses mostly on plastic and No Impact Man focuses on reducing the impact on the planet in general. "Plastikfreie Zone" has only been published in German (so far).
  5. 00
    A Life Stripped Bare by Leo Hickman (Camaho)
  6. 00
    Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquharson (Camaho)
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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
A very inspiring book overall. I already recycle, use public transport, try to eat organic, etc., but Beavan's book shows how you have to try to do even more. He has lots of ideas on how to achieve that, and talks about the difference it makes in the quality of one's life (apart from helping the environment at large).

The problem I have with this book is that some parts of it are quite vague, and Beavan sometimes tends to focus in detail on things that are already well known to people of an environmentalist bent. So the content is great, but I wish the focus were a little different. ( )
  rashedchowdhury | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book is about simple living and social ties just as much as it's about the environment. I really appreciated Beavan's humble introspection and his Meaning of Life approach to the issue of lifestyle change. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking to start acting on their liberal guilt about the crazy wasteful American lifestyle.

On the other hand, I would NOT hire Colin Beavan to be my science writer, but oh well. You can't expect everything. ( )
  raschneid | Mar 31, 2013 |
Debates about individual v. collective action, is this a self-promotion vehicle for the author or no, aside.... this book was awesome to me because it inspired me to think about what I am doing and think about some changes I can make, as well as ways I can get involved. Also, being part of the knitting world, I agree on his answer to the individual v. collective action debate - when a few individuals start acting, they can inspire others and then it _becomes_ collective - I have seen it before.
A must read, if only for the list of resources/great variety of ways to take action included in the back. ( )
  sriemann | Mar 30, 2013 |
I had to read this book for work as I am a college instructor. So, I expected that I would have to slog through it as I normally do with the "freshman common book." I was pleasantly surprised to find Beavan to be relatable, talented, and far from pedantic. Beavan's narration is witty and funny, and, best of all, he acknowledges the extreme nature of his experiment. He's not advocating that we all adopt his temporary lifestyle. He's advocating that we all think about our choices and their effects on us and on others.

This brings me to my favorite part of the book. Colin Beavan is clearly a believer in emotional unity, which is an incredibly important life value for me. He writes that "[t]here is no my despair or your despair. There is only our despair." When we destroy the planet, we are hurting one another, and, so, we are hurting ourselves. Even if this had been the only insight I gleaned from the book (and it wasn't), the narrative would have been completely worth reading. Beavan presents environmentalism as simultaneously self-interested and generous, which is an amazing rhetorical shift from the more common depiction of recycling, etc... as a sacrifice of time and energy. The complexity of his argument, and the effectiveness that complexity generates, is fascinating to any writer. Amazing. ( )
  HopingforChange | Jan 21, 2013 |
The author decided to stop ranting about environmental destruction, and do something about it. With the somewhat reluctant cooperation of his wife, while living in a New York apartment with a toddler and dog, he embarked on a year long project to reduce or counteract his impact on the planet. In stages they reduced trash, eliminated all but self-propelled travel, purchased no new products, consumed only local food, shut off the electricity and relied on a solar panel, and got involved with city environmental organizations. This was not 100% pure; the adults had jobs, the child was in daycare, and the rules allowed socializing in the homes of friends. The year was not without marital discord, but his wife seized the opportunity to change unsatisfying habits (too much TV, too much shopping), she loved the scooter and the rickshaw, and if he was going to transform their shared life for his goals, then she was going to write her opinions on the bathroom wall. She did not, however, take to the peppermint tea as a substitute for coffee. The book is not much of a how-to; it is more rationale and musings and consequences and relationships. A documentary, recorded through year, complements the book, with little additional information but a view of the personalities in action. There is a blog too.

(read 8 Jan 2013)
  qebo | Jan 11, 2013 |
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To you, Michelle, with my deepest love and the hope that you will always write on walls
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For one year, my wife, baby daughter, and I, while residing in the middle of New York City, attempted to live without making any net impact on the environment.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374222886, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:18 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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. After this mad endeavor, Beavan explains 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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