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Colin Beavan aka No Impact Man
For one year I am researching and developing a no net environmental impact lifestyle for my family. I call the project No Impact Man.
Recent Activity
Hi friends. I wanted to invited you to join me in the continued conversation about how to have a life that is good for ourselves and our world over at (click here to sign up for updates and the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2015 at No Impact Man
Please check out my article on the Atlantic Monthly's website about my activist run for Congress and how citizen politics can help do something about climate and other problems: My unlikely course in activist politicking started with a May call... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2012 at No Impact Man
Today I got a piece of fan mail from a young woman at Goldsmith College in London calling me her "idol." I'm not so comfortable with being anyone's idol and I actually don't think it does us much good to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2012 at No Impact Man
Dear friends, I don't say this often but I am scared. Not scared to the point of paralysis. Not scared enough to run away. Not scared enough to stop trying to help. Not scared enough to think we're doomed. Just... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2012 at No Impact Man
Here is the speech I made at the Green Party National Convention on Saturday. It's 20 minutes long so if you don't want to watch it but you want to know the themes: 1. Democracy works on the principle that... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2012 at No Impact Man
You may know that I'm running for Congress. In addition to the limited, old-fashioned goal of running a campaign merely to get elected, our campaign has three main non-electoral goals: 1. Bringing the conversation about the true nature of our... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2012 at No Impact Man
Dear Friends-- I've decided to run for US Congress representing central Brooklyn in an attempt to bring our crises and the possibility of real solutions into the pubic discourse (see press release below). I feel that our politicians are not... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at No Impact Man
A video written by my friend and colleague Tim Kasser. It presents a unifying theory of what's wrong and what to do about it. Continue reading
Posted Feb 29, 2012 at No Impact Man
Why were we born? What is really important in life? Are we living in line with that? Or are we distracted from the point of our existence? Is there a way to get people to wake up and ask these... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2012 at No Impact Man
Dear Mr and Mrs Borah, I am writing to tell you that you should be so incredibly proud of your amazing daughter. This is what I read about her in today's New York Times: [The American climate envoy’s] statement to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2011 at No Impact Man
I know John, it's awful. What we'd love to do is have a party that literally everyone can come to. And we have tried fundraising by asking for $5 here and $10. And as generous as people have been, it hasn't been sufficient. The good news is that we have put some 40,000 people through No Impact Week as well as many thousands of school children through the No Impact curriculum. This, we hope, results in many more engaged citizens who will work towards making our shared habitat a place that is safe and happy for all of us. The problem is, that all of this costs money. We need to raise $13,000 more by the end of this year. And this dinner is one of our ways of doing it. As usual, though, we are always open to constructive suggestions. Quips from the sidelines don't do much for us though. Thanks! Colin
1 reply
Hi Friend-- Please consider this your invitation (on December 14, see below) to what promises to be a wicked fun time. The cost will benefit our charitable effort the No Impact Project and help get thousands of citizens to begin... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2011 at No Impact Man
A monk asked a master, "I just became a monk and would like to know how to enter Buddhahood." The master said, "Do you hear the waterfall?" "Yes I do" replied the monk. The Master said, "Enter there." Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2011 at No Impact Man
Hi Nessa-- There are two problems related to population. One is capacity--the ability to feed, shelter and give water to a population. In that area, you are correct, US population is not so important. We are able to feed our own. But the other problem is climate change. In that area, a Bangledeshi could have 150 children before reaching the impact of one American child. We need to reduce the number of people who are living like Americans--ie like resource hogs. Also, I can't help it, but there is something supremely distasteful to me about the "those poor people in the southern hemisphere need to stop having so many kids" thing. Truthfully, it turns out that population rates decline with increasing wealth. And we hog the wealth up north. So the argument could just easily be "you northerners need to send your money down here and our birth rate will automatically decline." In general, I am suspicious of conversations about what "they" should do. I like talking about what "we" can do. I am more concerned with my and our morality and right action than other people's. Oh, one other thing. Later on, when we have a sustainable society, we can ignore birthrate in the developing world. But if planetary impact is our priority, the largest thing we can do is have fewer kids. At least for now. All the best, Colin
1 reply
@Everyone: I just want to say how humbled I am by your willingness to share such personal stories. Thank you and God bless you. Colin
1 reply
Thanks for your comment, but I am not so interested in the question of population control in other countries. Here's why: 1. The United States of America has a long history of telling the rest of the world would it should while being a little too lacking in introspection itself. 2. There is a reason for the biblical exhortation about worrying about the beam in your own eye before the speck in your neighbor's. It is that when you take stock of yourself, or your own culture, you actually find things you can do something about. It is largely up to your neighbor to decide to do something about their faults. 3. From a planetary and ecological perspective, the impact of an American or European having a child is some 150 times the impact of, say, a Bangladeshi having a child. There is a much larger onus of responsibility on us. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! Colin
1 reply
I am curious about people who wanted to have a child or children but decided to have none or fewer because of concerns over population growth. I'm *not* interested in hearing from people who condemn the choice to have chidren... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2011 at No Impact Man
I will hope you will join me on September 24 in the No Impact Project's mini-march from the George Washington Statue in New York City's Union Square up Broadway and then across town the Dag Hhammarskjold Plaza for a rally... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2011 at No Impact Man
I spent much of this morning on the phone with a friend who is one of the top leaders in corporate sustainability. He wanted to know my thoughts on "innovation" and "progress." Did I think they were good or bad?... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2011 at No Impact Man
And also for the organizations that partnered with New York's finest to make this happen, like Transportation Alternatives (of which I am a proud board member). Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! Hip hip hurray! Biking, where we can do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2011 at No Impact Man
Watch the video. If you don't like what's going on so much, maybe take a next step by looking at this citizen's guide. Leave ideas for what else we can do in comments. Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2011 at No Impact Man
Some of you will have seen this before, but it's Spring and a lot of people have been asking me about worm composting. So here, for your delectation, via the Lower East Side Ecology Center (LESEC), are directions for keeping... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2011 at No Impact Man
The federal government today came out with a report saying that the southwest is going to get much dryer in the coming decades. That means: Less drinking water Less water for crops and livestock More wildfires More conflict between states... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2011 at No Impact Man
I think a lot about the place of desire. An incorrect relationship to desire, I believe, has got us in this mess. Certainly an incorrect relationship to desire has often got me in a mess! On the other hand, I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at No Impact Man
Here is a note I just sent out to friends and since you are my friend, too: Hi Folks-- Sorry for group email. I'm just writing to a group of friends who have, at one time or another, expressed interest... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2011 at No Impact Man