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No Impact Man

3.8 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Author Colin Beavan, in research for his next book, began the No Impact Project in November 2006. A newly self-proclaimed environmentalist who could no long avoid pointing the finger at himself, Colin leaves behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption...no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein's film provides a front row seat into the familial strains and strengthened bonds that result from Colin's and Michelle's struggle with this radical lifestyle change.

About the Actor

As the news stories go: "Colin Beavan is a liberal schlub who got tired of listening to himself complain about the world without ever actually doing anything about it" Thus, in November, 2006, Beavan launched a year-long project in which he, his wife, his two-year-old daughter and his four-year-old dog went off the grid and attempted to live in the middle of New York City with as little environmental impact as possible. The No Impact project has been the subject of stories in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and many other national and international news outlets. Beavan has appeared on The Colbert Report, Good Morning America, Nightline, The Montel Show, and all the major NPR shows. He speaks regularly to a wide variety of audiences, is frequently quoted in the press and consults to business on the intersection of sustainability and human quality of life.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Beavan, Michelle Conlin
  • Directors: Laura Gabbert & Justin Schein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Oscilloscope Laboratories
  • DVD Release Date: January 19, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002RX8G5E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,237 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "No Impact Man" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By lenny williams on February 14, 2010
Format: DVD
great little documentary, if you can learn to tolerate beavan early on. it's been said before, he's a lame-o, but it bears repeating. it's unfortunate the filmmakers were saddled with such a huge obstacle (beavan) as this man totally impacts the film like "the annoying guy your best friend is dating". you just have to suffer thru him.

it pays off though! schein manages to salvage the film with interesting, intimate shots. you walk away realizing "nobody's perfect", that we are all struggling with ourselves, our ideals, our way of living.

the film gets blasted for not being THE eco-primer on sustainable living. well, it ain't. and the truth is, it's a better film for it.
you wanna learn how to recycle, be green? there's tons of info out there, find it.

seeing a man, his family struggle with their conscious, that's a way more interesting story.
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By Beth F. on December 2, 2009
Format: DVD
Very well done film and very eye-opening. I saw the premier in NYC and found it illuminating and inspiring even as someone who already lives "green." It showed not only what the family experienced in terms of reducing their impact but also how it affected their marriage and social life which was interesting and added depth to the story. My only negative was actually that it should have been called "No Impact Family" because his wife and daughter participated too and should be given credit as such.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Rare are the films that engage your brain on dozens of levels. There are so many woven and wonderful story lines here. Each time I thought I had a character figured out they got more interesting and surprising. This is not just an important movie for the environment it is also important for an introspective look at who we are. Am I Colin (sometimes) am I Michelle (sometimes), but by the end of the movie I was hoping to be as cool as either. Great.
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I really love this movie! A lot of the stuff he did in this doc...I do myself. Minus the no electricity...but we try to use as little as possible and use the day light sun and our oil lanterns when needed. But you def realize that there is more to life then spending money and consuming...even though the brained washed consumers and the corporations...don't like when you think that way and try to shame you for it! Hope more people come out with docs like this one. Really enjoyed watching it. Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I got this documentary after hearing about it on Alicia Silverstein's website, the Kind Life. She had a preview video there. What a great documentary on a family going all out to live simply and at the end, finding what worked and what didn't. His interviews really put into perspective of how we live is causing problems in the environment and to our quality of living. I put this DVD on once in awhile to keep me motivated on lazy days and to keep me focused on living a better quality life. Worth the money and I read the book right after. Anyone who is curious about acaling down or simply looking to view how others see the world, I recommend this.
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Format: DVD
This film was interesting and overall worth watching; but I was disappointed there wasn't any supporting information on their chosen methods or how-to. It was basically a reality show about a family simplifying their lifestyle, repetitive justification for doing so, and their increasing popularity along the ride.

I would have liked to see:
- Background on his project plan and how he drafted it
- How he researched and why he chose the methods he chose
- Real answers behind addressing toilet paper, dirty diapers, etc. and I'm not asking this out of perverse fascination. I'm asking it out of sincere interest on how to live without these things.

Highlights:
- I loved Mayer, the gardener's, humor and wisdom
- I enjoyed seeing their solution to laundry
- I liked the information around cleaning products but wanted more info on how to do this myself
- It was nice to see a child be part of this project. I have one and a little one on the way; so it's nice to know it's "doable" with babies

Lowest points:
- Didn't care about his numerous talks with national tv shows or his soapbox moments; the point seemed to be overblown
- Because there was so much lack of information and supporting facts he came off as extremely amateur and somewhat ignorant. I can see why some reviewers were annoyed
- His defensiveness around people wanting to know HOW he got by without toilet paper, etc.

My comments about other reviews:
- I feel the criticism behind the question," was he really low impact?" to be essentially irrelevant. That title, "Low impact man" is for publicity. This film is really about simplifying a lifestyle and doing what you can to reduce eco impact.
- Some people were confused by his choice to go vegetarian.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I saw this documentary some months back on Netflix, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the story of Colin and his family experimenting with less impact. It's not perfect. They live in 5th Avenue (really?), they're feeling their way along in this experiment without really knowing what to do to make less impact and Colin's wife tries but she's really not on board. It's an intellectual pursuit that breaks down in real life, but they keep trying.

But you know, I admire someone _trying_ to do what they can. And following through publicly when you know darn well their friends, family and colleagues think they're nuts. Colin took alot of flack, much like some reviewers are giving about this DVD, that he's only out for publicity. His wife works for Business Week and he's a published author already, so who knows?

But he kept going despite the strong critics and he's still behind his idea today. No one can maintain promoting an idea for publicity over the long haul. It's too hard. Colin not only maintains it, he's more passionate than ever. In the end, he's spearheaded a movement.

The most interesting part of this film is the way we see Colin and his wife, Michelle, interacting. It's a real inside look at a marriage relationship where an outside idea totally throws your life in chaos. What would you do if your spouse came home and says we're going to do this (fill in outlandish idea)? Seeing how they work through the changes and the attention was fascinating. I enjoyed seeing them converse and negotiate a pretty tricky situation that would've put a big rift in another relationship.

I love--much like I love a homemade rustic apple pie--that it's not a perfect set-up and they aren't perfect people. It's encouraging to those of us firmly entrenched in "normal" American consumption to see that maybe there's an alternative, if we tried.
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