No Impact Man is a documentary film about an American man who wants to see if it possible for him and his family to leave no carbon footprint for a year.
Colin Beaven lives in New York City with his wife, 2 yr old daughter and his dog. He claims that he was so fed up of 'waiting for senators to do something about the way we treat the world' that he decided to see what would happen if he took the situations into his own hands. This meant that he and his family would try to leave no net impact on the environment. In other words, no rubbish, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no lifts, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no tv etc.
At first his wife doesn't seem to take to the idea but after 6months she claims that she is excited and can feel the benefits of only eating local foods (even giving up coffee).
Whilst visiting the farm where their food is produced (Colin proclaiming that this can be their family holiday) Colin asks the farmer why he hasn't labelled his food 'organic' considering that it practically is. The farmer answers;
"There can be no treatment for cows, if a cow gets sick we cannot give them antibiotics. That's the problem I have, I can't let the cows die."
This surprised me actually. I've always presumed that organic meant that no chemicals were used that weren't required. If that makes sense.
The thing that stuck out to me the most was the conclusion. Colin, after acquiring media attention, is giving a talk to students about being a 'no impact man'. He says;
"Without a community, we don't feel accountable to anyone else"
I sort of agree with this statement, I believe that a community is vital to happiness. He states that going to the local market for food has allowed him and his family to become part of a community.
It's weird to think that anybody would have a negative opinion about this project. As a woman suggests on the film, maybe it is because people feel that they have a right to be consumers. 'I've earned this cash, I worked hard for it. Therefore, I can spend it however I choose to'.
Overall it's a very inspiring film that I am glad I have watched. I've already text the parents to say we NEED to give most of these ideas a go in summer (not so keen on the toilet roll idea...)
No Impact Man Blog