No Impact Man Movie Trailer

Beavan family

Colin Beavan drives the family vehicle. In the NoImpactMan world, cars are a big no. There are others: No trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV …

Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine.


Can you save the planet without driving your family crazy?

This is a question Colin Beavan set out to answer in November of 2006, when he launched a project in which he, his wife, Michelle Conlin, his two-year-old daughter and his dog went off the grid in New York City. For one year, the family attempted to minimize their environmental impact. This meant no electricity, no garbage, no TV, no taxis, and no takeout food.

"The average American creates 1,600 pounds of trash a year. We’re trying to reduce that to zero," Beavan says.

As Beavan and his family discovered, however, the project wasn't all about "no." The No Impact project meant more time spent together as a family, improved health as the family at local foods, and an added richness to their daily lives.

A film of the same name documenting the No Impact project was released in fall of 2009.