What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

05 January 2011

No Impact Man

I picked up No Impact Man, by Colin Beavan, at the library, vaguely thinking that I'd read a review and wanted to read it. And as is my practise, I started reading it on the bus.

Oh. My. Word. This book is crazy-amazing, inspiring, frustrating, funny, scary-- I think it hit all my emotions as I read through it. To begin with, I'm totally with Mr. Beavan on the frustration at seeing people make planet-destroying choices every day that could easily be fixed. (Just get a reusable travel mug for your Starbucks and a stainless steel water bottle for everything else, already! Enough with the styrofoam and plastic!) And like him, I have realised that the only cure to the irritation is to change myself and hope that other people will come to the same conclusion*.

So, Mr. Beavan, his wife, and their 2-year-old set out on a year-long adventure to live without making any impact upon the earth. They began with eliminating trash from their lives (and do you know how much stuff produces trash?) and refusing to use any transportation that they didn't run under their own power: no elevators, no buses, no subway. By the end of the year, they had progressed to turning off their electricity and were carefully rationing and reusing their water. Along the way, they switched to locally-grown food only, became vegetarians, and relearned how to communicate with one another and their friends without being continuously entertained by a TV or the internet.

Even if you aren't a passionate environmental activist, this book is well worth reading, if only for the chance to look at living from a different perspective. I found it really enjoyable and, as I said, inspiring-- so much so that after returning it to the library, I trotted over to Amazon and bought myself a copy (used, so I saved money and kept it from being thrown away-- but it did, unfortunately, require shipping). And Chad and I have since added composting to our repertoire of earth-saving habits, now that we know it is compatible with apartment-dwelling.

*One of my instructors told me one day that she is always careful to bring her reusable containers with her on the days when I have an appointment. Guess there is something to be said for a good example.

Have you read No Impact Man? Visited Mr. Beavan's blog? Feel totally jealous that he got the book deal because he thought of it first?


Brandon Price said...

Sounds like a good book. Always good to be challenge by things like this. Too bad I can't listen to you, though, since you're one of those right-winged, artsy-fartsy, Austin-dwellers. :o)

Su said...

Hee hee, that's what they tell me. It's even worse, though, because Mr. Beavan is a New Yorker!

Jenny Beattie said...

Thanks for the review Su. It sounds interesting... It won't be environmentally appropriate but I'll see if I can find it in Bangkok.

Su said...

It is available for e-readers, if you use one.

Chadwick said...

Planet-destroying choices are frustrating, but I find the simple things (like gum at a bus stop, littering three feet from a trash can, smoking under a non-smoking sign, coughing behind someone without covering your mouth, etc) more an affront to living together on the planet and that erks me. We might be higher order mammals, but that's just because we can focus on ourselves and lack any purpose whatever. Animals have single purposes and fulfill them as ordered. We'd fit in quite well if we fulfilled our single purpose as ordered. --Rant over-- Nice review honey, may I point out that you are impact-girl, because you have an impact on people around you ;)

Su said...

Thanks, sweetheart.

Anonymous said...

sounds awesome. I worry if I got this for my wife we'd never go on a road trip again.

Su said...

LOL. It's already ruined me for going out to eat.