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

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
The riotous story of a guilty liberal who snaps, swears off plastic, goes organic, turns off his power, and becomes a bicycle nut in an effort to make zero environmental impact

Manhattanite Colin Beavan spent a year trying to live without a net environmental impact, and he dragged his baby daughter and Prada-loving wife along for the ride (bicycle-powered, of course). 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? Is it worthwhile or senseless? These are the questions at the heart of this whole mad endeavour, which ultimately challenges each of us to embrace green living.

* The publisher has aimed for sustainability in all aspects of this book’s production. For example, the interior paper is 100% post-consumer recycled, processed without chlorine, and certified by both the Forest Stewardship Council and EcoLogo. Instead of a jacket, the cover boards are stamped directly with ink, and the boards themselves are made from 100% recycled and FSC-certified materials.


How a Schlub Like Me Gets Mixed Up in a Stunt Like This

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. Ultimately, this meant we did our best to create no trash (so no take-out food), cause...
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“[Beavan’s experiment is] equal parts grace and calamity … washed down with a big draught of engaging palaver.”
New York Times

“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.”

“There’s something of Thoreau in Colin Beavan’s great project — but a fully engaged, connected, and right-this-minute helpful version. We’re at 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

No Impact Man touches a nerve with people beyond hard-core environmentalists.” 
San Francisco Chronicle

“Beavan forces the reader to confront his or her personal role in the climate change crisis.”
— Winnipeg Free Press

“An inspiring, persuasive argument.”
— Kirkus Reviews

Beavan captures his own shortcomings with candor and wit and offers surprising revelations . . . While few readers will be tempted to go to Beavan's extremes, most will mull over his thought-provoking reflections and hopefully reconsider their own lifestyles.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Deeply honest and riveting.”
— Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat

“Colin Beavan has the disarming and uniquely remedial ability to make you laugh while 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 and Self-Made Man