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No Impact Man by Colin Beavan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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No Impact Man

by Colin Beavan

Colin Beavan records his attempt to become completely environmentally sustainable in his book 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.

At first Beavan sounds like a mumbling, grumbling “environmentalist” who blames the degradation of our planet on the government and feels powerless to change anything. But then he decides to take matters into his own hands by attempting to eliminate his own negative environmental impact for one year. As though this isn't challenging enough, he also drags his designer-clothing-loving wife, Michelle, and their toddler daughter, Isabella, into his radical experiment.

Beavan breaks his daunting task into phases, which he puts into action during the no-impact year. He tackles everything from eating only local food to giving up toilet paper, all in search of a clear environmental conscience. In addition to chronicling his struggles and successes, Beavan shares shocking environmental statistics relevant to the changes he is making, which add a sense of urgency to the lifestyle shift he demonstrates and advocates. Equally enlightening are the personal and sociological observations that Beavan makes as he becomes an outsider looking in on our way of life.

No Impact Man is useful as a guidebook for changing your life, and it's an entertaining reflection of the life of its author. The most valuable aspects of the book are the many suggestions for lifestyle changes, ranging from simple to radical, that can be adopted by readers.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed No Impact Man. It encouraged me to make a number of changes in my own life, and led me to the realization that one person can make a difference if they truly want to. I would recommend No Impact Man to anyone who is interested in environmental affairs or simply wants to read an entertaining and enlightening book.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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