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No Impact Man [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Colin Beavan
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 2009
In the growing debate over eco-friendly living, it seems that everything is as bad as everything else. Do you do more harm by living in the country or the city? Is it better to drive a thousand miles or take an airplane? In NO IMPACT MAN, Colin Beavan tells the extraordinary story of his attempt to find some answers - by living for one year in New York City (with his wife and young daughter) without leaving any net impact on the environment. His family cut out all driving and flying, used no air conditioning, no television, no toilets. . .They went from making a few concessions to becoming eco-extremists. The goal? To determine what works and what doesn't, and to fashion a truly 'eco-effective' way of life. Beavan's radical experiment makes for an unforgettable and humorous memoir in an attempt to answer perhaps the most important question of all: What is the sufficient individual effort that it would take to save the planet? And what is stopping us?
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: MacMillan Audio; Unabridged edition (Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427208018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427208019
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 13.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,186,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


From their first baby steps (no takeout) to their giant leap (no toilet paper), the Beavan s' experiment in ecological responsibility was a daunting escapade in going green . . . So fervent as to make Al Gore look like a profligate wastrel, Beavan's commitment to the cause is, nonetheless, infectiously inspiring and uproariously entertaining (BOOKLIST ‘With thorough research, Beavan updates his blog ( with convincing statistical evidence, while discovering new ways to reduce consumption and his family’s environmental footprint . . . An inspiring, persuasive argument that indivi)

KIRKUS REVIEWS (‘Beavan captures his own shortcomings with candor and wit and offers surprising revelations . . . [Readers] will mull over his thought-provoking reflections and hopefully reconsider their own lifestyles’)

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (‘No Impact Man is a deeply honest and riveting account of the year in which Colin Beavan and his wife attempted to do what most of us would consider impossible. What might seem inconvenient to the point of absurdity instead teaches lessons that all of us)

Marion Nestle, author of WHAT TO EAT (‘Colin Beavan has the disarming and uniquely remedial ability to make you laugh while he's making you feel like a swine, and what's more, to make you not only want to, but to actually do something, about it’) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The extraordinary story of one man's attempt to live in New York City (with his wife and young daughter) without leaving any net impact on the environment. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining and thought provoking 19 Jan 2012
Loved this book. It's not only an entertaining and fascinating story of a man's struggle to do something better for the planet, but it provokes you to look at and make changes to the way you lead your own life. It raises questions about what we value, what's important in life, and encourages mindfulness about the decisions we make. Should be compulsory reading really! Because we can all make a difference to the future of the planet and indeed should be taking even small steps to do so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Jezza
I expected to hate this. I expected to find it individualistic and self-centred, with a focus on feelgood action and a great deal of smugness. Instead, Beavan is actually quite thoughtful about the relationship between individual and collective action, and revealing about what can and can't be done to opt out of a wasteful, planet-trashing way of life.

I was particularly interested in what he discovered about the economy (and ecology) of time - how doing without lots of 'time-saving' stuff actually gave him and his family more time to spend together.

I'll watch the film now too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too short, but worth it. 5 April 2013
By Viljo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After watching the documentary, I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to buy the book. The documentary came across as a bit whiny, and focused a lot on No Impact Man's wife and her reluctance to certain parts of the project. However, I am very glad I bought the book. It is brilliant and I'd recommend it to everyone, hence the five stars.

One drawback I would like to mention is that the book still doesn't go in enough detail for me. At the beginning of the appendices, there are about 15 links to blog posts you can read for more info. I fail to understand why these weren't included in the book, considering it is actually a much shorter book than you'd think. An entire 15% of the book consists of appendices, references and acknowledgements. A further 25% of the book is an index, which incomprehensibly is placed at the back and is a bit pointless in a Kindle version (you can just use the X-Ray function). My copy cost 4.99 from I normally make a point of never buying an e-book for more than 4 so I put it on my wishlist and waited. And waited. And ran out of patience, which sadly is not one of my virtues, and bought it anyway. The book was listed as having 282 pages, but as you will only really read about 60% of those, I effectively paid nearly 5 for roughly 170 pages.

I still think the book is worth it, and I will probably open the Kindle app on my Mac and check out all those blog post links, but I just wanted to make any potential buyers aware of the above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book as I had recently watched the documentary of the same name and wanted to find out more information about the year-long project that they undertook. The author has a very engaging style and the book is also very informative, and it of course covers so much more than was in the one-hour documentary. Recommended for anyone who wants to do more for the environment and make changes in their life. As No Impact Man and his family lived this experiment for a year, it was a good test of what is viable and what isn't eg living without toilet paper is tricky but not impossible, whereas getting rid of the TV or taking the stairs is easy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars No Impact...? The Jury is Out. 1 Jan 2014
Would have been a great inspiration, if only there wasn't a question mark about how much 'impact' his book has had on the environment..!! Was this the REAL reason he did this..??
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