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No Impact Man

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Submitted By ryanx74
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No Impact Man
Colin Beavan
No Impact Man is the story of a man who sets out to find a way to live his life, without leaving a carbon footprint behind. The author of the book is living in Manhattan who has a ton of concerns over the environment. After a while, he decided that enough was enough and he was going a find a way to live his life with his family in Manhattan while leaving zero impact on the world. This meant a year without, electricity, any motorized transportation, or even toilet paper. This wasn’t just going to be a temporary change; this was a change of life.
As the story begins, the main theme appears to be finding a way to live, without hurting the environment, but as the family’s adventure continues, this idea changes. They begin to question just what is the definition of a good life, and how much do we attach ourselves to other things just to live a simple and easy life. As the family moves farther and farther into their new way of life, they begin to understand just how different it is to live a no impact life. The family begins to learn slowly about living green and they disconnect themselves away from a carbon lifestyle, just one step at a time. Throughout the book, they take steps into turning green. Every chapter, the family has a new challenge to accomplish about the theme of becoming green. It is important to this class, just due to the pure fact of how much of a carbon lifestyle people do live today. Reading about how this family was able to turn their lives into a completely different lifestyle in a year was very interesting. The story is a perfect example of how people can change themselves and save this planet, which just happens to be a very important issue that exists today. I believe the theme of this book is very clear and shows a very accurate way of how people convert to a green lifestyle. The thing about going green is people don’t like change, and even in this book it shows that. The wife for example gets cold feet a lot about the lifestyle, and often questions it, but in the end they find a way to push through and go with the idea. And don’t get me wrong, this family does not just change on a dime, it is a slow process. This also proves just how accurate of an experience they had. Each month, the family did something new to go green, and the transformation was quite noticeable. As they began to change, their way of thinking began to change as well. Their disconnection from things like electricity, cars, take out, etc, showed how they began to see just how possible it was to live in this way without the dependence on common things like electricity and cars. A lifestyle they once thought was impossible was becoming reality right in front of their eyes. Their definition of what a happy life was changed. Going green did not just improve the lives of this family health wise, it also impacted them emotionally. The family became much closer. This closer bond was the result of their green lifestyle, which you could argue is a fair example of how it is very beneficiary to live this sort of way to form a closer bond with your family then you would see in a common carbon lifestyle.
On my own way of thinking, it has shown me almost a guide to how to change your life. Everyone around you can sit around and say change and go green, but this book showed just exactly how to make it possible. I wish I had the ambition, because it seems almost extremely peaceful to live this way and makes your life much less stressful in the end. What really was meaningful to me was when you could notice in the text at how much happier they were becoming, together; how it turned into a normal day for them to go without electricity and they could just sit around and be one big happy family. As they became happier, they were also reaching their goal. It gave me some inspiration, honestly. And maybe in the near future I will make small decisions to help make my life, and the earth’s, better, and take the baby steps that he and his family did, who knows where it could end up!
An experience I had that was reminded of me during this book was when me and my uncle went on a trip together, and for one week we had no cell phones, electricity, tv, etc. just us and the woods. We didn’t have a camper or anything, just tents and everything we needed. I just remember a conversation we had where he told me that it was quite easy to make it through this week, and that I should look and see just how easy it was to make it through when the week is over. And they he went on to say that if everyone were to live a week like this, that it would impact the environment greatly. That part just really stuck out at me and it felt sort of cool to live that way, but it would be amazing if the rest of the world could. I think this book could influence the public just due to how big a deal that we will have to change as a society on this earth if we are going to save it. And if we don’t, this might just have to be the way of life we will be forced to live to just survive. I defiantly do recommend this book. It is the perfect balance between comedy and seriousness. It was quite amazing to read page after page the changes this family had to endure to live a carbon free lifestyle. And I think everyone should give this book a shot just to see how possible it really is, and to witness living proof that the no impact lifestyle is achievable.…...

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