Update on No Impact Man: The Year Without Toilet Paper


When Jeff last reported on No Impact Man he had a blog, a book deal, a movie. Now he has the front page of the Home section of the New York Times. He is not only a model for us all about lifestyle, but also for marketing and self promotion. (and I mean that very positively!)

The article starts off with dinner: "There was shredded cabbage with fruit-scrap vinegar; mashed parsnips and yellow carrots with local butter and fresh thyme; a terrific frittata; then homemade yogurt with honey and thyme tea, eaten under the greenish flickering light cast by two beeswax candles and a fluorescent bulb."

It then follows through with the rest of their lifestyle changes to achieve no impact:


"Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost); using no paper; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation."

While living this way and trying to have no impact is hard, we would point out that there are probably few better places to do it than in cities like Manhattan. Employment is often in walking or scooter distance; there is huge variety in shopping for food, usually often in walking distance; there are libraries, second hand shops and endless diversions close at hand. Without being as extreme as Colin, Michelle and little Isabella, all of us could do some of these things. I do, however, draw the line at toilet paper.

Colin is not alone, either;

Mr. Beavan looks to groups like the Compacters (sfcompact.blogspot.com), a collection of nonshoppers that began in San Francisco, and the 100 Mile Diet folks (100milediet.org and thetyee.ca), a Vancouver couple who spent a year eating from within 100 miles of their apartment, for tips and inspiration. But there are hundreds of other light-footed, young abstainers with a diarist urge: it is not news that this shopping-averse, carbon-footprint-reducing, city-dwelling generation likes to blog (the paperless, public diary form). They have seen "An Inconvenient Truth"; they would like to tell you how it makes them feel. If Al Gore is their Rachel Carson, blogalogs like Treehugger, grist.org and worldchanging.com are their Whole Earth catalogs.

Read the article at the ::New York Times

Pictures by Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times