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.

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