No cars? No electricity? No toilet paper?! In Manhattan?!

Andrew Gaines

While his friends (and wife) thought he was crazy, Colin Beavan was serious about his mission to change the way people thought about living a “green lifestyle.” Beavan decided to make a huge impact by making no impact at all. For an entire year, Beavan, along with his wife and daughter, explored what it would be like to make zero environmental impact while living in Manhattan. The family turned off their lights, stopped producing trash and walked everywhere. They said no to cabs, elevators, trains, laundry machines, and television. Yet, as Beavan chronicles his year in 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, his year was not one of loss or lack, but rather of fulfillment and familial bonding. Without the distractions of TV and take-out, the Beavan family learns to communicate, live purposefully and slow life down their lives amidst the bustling metropolis of New York City. It’s an engaging, well-written book that will have you laughing out loud (I got some weird stares reading this on the train, so take care while reading it in public places) and seriously examining the way you live your life. Check out an excerpt of the book (a documentary about Beavan's project will soon be released; trailer below) in our September issue, which should make it to stores in two weeks or so. For more on “living green” in Manhattan, check out Will Boisvert’s book review (“Big Green Apple”) in the same issue.

Please consider supporting our work.

I hope you found this article important. Before you leave, I want to ask you to consider supporting our work with a donation. In These Times needs readers like you to help sustain our mission. We don’t depend on—or want—corporate advertising or deep-pocketed billionaires to fund our journalism. We’re supported by you, the reader, so we can focus on covering the issues that matter most to the progressive movement without fear or compromise.

Our work isn’t hidden behind a paywall because of people like you who support our journalism. We want to keep it that way. If you value the work we do and the movements we cover, please consider donating to In These Times.

Illustrated cover of Gaza issue. Illustration shows an illustrated representation of Gaza, sohwing crowded buildings surrounded by a wall on three sides. Above the buildings is the sun, with light shining down. Above the sun is a white bird. Text below the city says: All Eyes on Gaza
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.