Colin, Michelle and Isabella (yeah, we’re on a first name basis) embark on a year-long lifestyle experiment where they attempt to live with the smallest environmental impact. Why do such a thing?
If you want to change the world, start with yourself. Or as the famous Gandhi quote says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Colin realized that in order to change the world he needed to stop condemning others for their consumption of resources, and start changing his consumption.
And so No Impact Man was born. The transformation towards a no impact life happens in stages over the course of a year. Each stage brings it’s own set of problems, stories and discoveries.
The first step Colin and his family take is towards zero waste. They examine the contents of their trash and vow to not produce trash – this means not buying packaged products or using disposable products like paper napkins. Next they take on carbon producing transportation. They use bikes, a scooter or good old fashioned walking to get around NYC. Next up they switch to locally produced food. And then they pull the plug on electricity.
While reading this book, I thought about the changes Colin and his family made. Could I go without a car? Could I shop at the farmer’s market exclusively? Could I go electricity free once a week? Could I avoid buying things wrapped in plastic?
What I got from this book, other than inspiration and ideas on how to shrink my carbon footprint, was an overwhelming sense that I can make a difference.
As Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.“
It’s better to do something, than nothing.
I found the book to be entertaining, inspirational, thought provoking, and deeply personal. Colin is the real deal.
Check out No Impact Man, the project to see how you can make a difference.