No Impact Man & His No Impact Family Inspire Me


I like to think I stay pretty aware of what’s going on in the green blogosphere. So I feel more than a bit out of the loop given that I’ve only just learned about Colin Beaven, a.k.a. No Impact Man.

To make a long story short, Colin is a New Yorker who was feeling his fair share of green guilt and decided to do something about it. Except he took this idea to the extreme. Colin gave up almost all modern conveniences in his quest for a more sustainable lifestyle, including taxis, fast food, electricity and even toilet paper. To make the story even more compelling, his wife and young daughter are along for the ride too.

Colin and his family are the subjects of the No Impact Man documentary, which chronicles their yearlong journey and the challenges and victories that come with it. The idea is to determine whether all these so-called necessities truly have an impact on quality of life, or whether we’re all just too comfortable and complacent to do anything outside the norm.

His wife readily admits that the changes were incredibly difficult for her. Like many of us, she’s addicted to Starbucks and shopping for clothes, among other things that get under her husband’s skin. Don’t think this could be entertaining? Watch the trailer below and judge for yourself.

I don’t know about you, but I’m eagerly anticipating the release of the film in select theaters starting on September 11. Colin has been criticized as attention-seeking and only out for self-promotion, but I admire his fortitude. Call him what you will, but anyone who is willing to give up toilet paper and electricity must be pretty committed to the cause. I’m not sure I’d be willing to go that far. Though…it does make me wonder how he manages to write for his blog

By jennae

Hi! I'm Jennae Petersen and I'm the eco diva who had the bright idea to share my journey toward green living with the blogosphere. Some of you may know me as the founder of Green Your Decor, my blog about eco-friendly home decor, as a Walmart Mom, from Twitter or from my organic cotton t-shirt line Differently Clothing. Stick around for a while!


  1. Though I admire him and everyone should work on reducing waste (buying too many new items, disposable items, bottles, etc) what he’s doing would drive me absolutely crazy and would drive me to divorce. I cant live with extremes. Just being honest here!
    .-= Carla | Green and Chic´s last blog ..Link Love: All About Food =-.

  2. @Carla I have to say I’m with you on this one. He does inspire me to want to make greater changes in my life, but this is the extreme end of the spectrum. I admire his wife just for putting up with him, and this is coming from the person in our house who is usually playing the devil’s advocate about green issues. No electricity, no taxis, no subway? I don’t think I could do it. But as I mentioned before, I WILL try to stop eating packaged foods and drastically reduce our plastic consumption.

  3. While I do think he has gone to the extreme and not so sure if I am willing to say turn off the lights and no more computer, I can see his journey as inspirational to us all. We will be able to see live and in living color what we, as individuals, can do without in our own daily lives. I look forward to seeing this movie as well as an instructional for me to enlighten me as to what I can eliminate from my life. Look at it like this, we get to sit back and watch someone else take the lead and use it to guide us to a much more sustainable living and I anticipate the phrase “well low impact man did it” will be used in many family debates to come. lol!
    I am behind him, and pray for his wife’s sanity all the way!!

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