The culture of the first world, especially in the United States, has become one of waste and excess. Almost five years ago now, freelance writer (and now ethical politician, a very rare bird indeed) Colin Beavan decided to experiment with breaking free from that culture. For one year, he (and his Prada-toting wife and still-toddling daughter) ventured into the realm of the strange and untried to see what life off the grid – but still in their middle-of-Manhattan apartment – could be like. Beavan’s writing is circumspect, analytic, and beautifully funny. His book is raw and honest, self-congratulatory followed by self-deprecation. The book does not preach a sermon; it describes a science project. Beavan experiments with how he could live, making no presumptions about whether that is how all should live. Brilliantly balanced, fun to read, and yet somehow still chock-full of facts made easily absorbable, No Impact Man is a worthy addition to any conscious individual’s bookshelf.
Find out more about the No Impact Project, Colin Beavan, and his current exploits: