No Impact Man

This week, the movie I watched was No Impact Man, a film following the lives of No Impact Man, Colin Beavans, and his family, in a year long experiment to reduce their environmental impact to zero.This movie was a really interesting movie that puts in perspective our dependence on the things we consume. I’m also surprised it caused a lot of controversy, as the family was really scrutinized for the way they lived in the film.


Some of the things they did that really caught my attention, was living without electricity,the worm compost, and travelling while creating zero emissions.


Voluntarily living without electricity was really shocking in my opinion and proved to be really troublesome for the family. In the end they resorted to solar panels. I think solar panels should be a more common way to generate electricity. It is a much more practical approach to consume less energy and reduce the impact on the environment since it seems as almost insane, to voluntarily live without electricity. I do think that for developing countries where people have limited access to electricity, solar panels would be ideal. For instance, in some areas of the Dominican Republic, power outages have become a daily occurrence. Therefore, if people were to have solar panels, it would give millions access to a reliable source of energy while still  reducing their impact on the environment.

Worm Compost


Worm compost was another thing the Beavans did that really caught my attention. This one also seemed a bit impractical to me because of the amount of flies it generated in their household. However, it was still innovative as it allowed them to live essentially, trash-free, something that seems almost impossible to ordinary consumers, especially in such a dynamic city as New York. If New Yorkers lived trash-free it would greatly reduce the amount of pollution and improve their quality of life.


During their year long experiment, the Beavans travelled emission free, though occasionally in order to travel long distances, they required to take the train. For short distances they travelled throughout New York on bicycle. At first, I thought it was a little too dangerous to travel by bicycle through out such a huge city but as the movie progressed, I realized how important it is to reduce emissions that damage our environment. While watching this part of the movie, I thought of Tesla, an automaker which creates electric cars that create zero emissions. If people made the transition from fossil fuel powered cars to electric cars, they could also reduce their impact on the environment.


Though some of these seemed a bit extreme, I do think its important for the public to understand why the Beavans did what they did.

Post by Jenny Charles-Santos

All images courtesy of “No Impact Man” the movie.


One thought on “No Impact Man

  1. I think experiment-wise, they definitely went about it the right way. If they’re going to experiment, they might as well go all the way. It’s a good way to test your limitations – you never really know what you can or can do unless if you try everything, like how Mrs. Bevans decided there were definitely some things she couldn’t live without but some she wanted to keep doing.

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