Review of No Impact Man by Colin Beavan

No Impact Man

This book somehow managed to get me thinking about how much I waste every day without putting me on the defensive. Beavan, God bless ‘im, is so self-deprecating that he just never sounds judgmental.

Well-placed statistics educate readers, while memoir and introspection personalize the story. There’s also a nice appendix of resources for people at every possible eco-commitment level.

My favorite thing about this book was the fact that it takes place in New York City. If Beavan can have no impact in New York, there may be hope for the rest of us. Unless possibly if you live in the suburbs… Still, like the 100-mile diet experiment in Plenty, which takes place in Vancouver, you never feel like Beavan gets off easy because of his location.

Least favorite thing? The title, which is referenced throughout the book. Every time I read the words “no impact man” I heard them in my head in this voice and imagined Beavan walking around New Work looking like this guy. But since I can’t figure out how to do a half-star, I’m giving No Impact Man all five.

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4 comments on “Review of No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
  1. Ollin says:

    Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Ruth Terry says:

      Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for reading. I actually just applied for a freelance writer gig with Goodreads helping with their newsletter. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!! If you haven’t joined Goodreads yet, I hope you will soon. I’d love to see what writer resources are on your bookshelf!

    • Gene says:

      I am the only one that ses the irony in this!?! They say that they are coohing to make “no iamcpt” yet they live in one of the largest, pollution breathing cities in America. Try living off of only local grown food and getting it without a vehicle when you live out in the sticks. All of these enviro “no iamcpt” groups live in huge cities! If you really want to make “no iamcpt” move out to the country, live off the land, and get your water from the creek! As long as these groups live in these giant behemoth cities and spout their eco-agendas I will only see them as hypocritical mockeries.

      • Ruth Terry says:

        Thanks for your comment, Gene. You may want to check out the book The Green Metropolis, which talks about how Americans moving to the country is actually detrimental for the environment. Manhattan, where No Impact writer Colin Beavan lives, actually has the lowest per-capita carbon footprint in the country, because no one drives cars there. Your point is well-taken, though. If we could produce our own food AND not drive all over the place while living in the country, it might be a solid option. You may enjoy the book I’m reading now called The Dirty Life about a couple who does just that. Also, check out this blog by Darshan Karwat, a University of Michigan student who is living a trash free, car free, low-impact life in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His blog is located here:

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I'm a smart, sassy, globally-mobile freelance writer, content creator, brand journalist and nonprofit storyteller. The world is my office. Email me to find out more.
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