No Impact Man

No Impact Man

288 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-312-42983-6

The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process

Colin Beavan

“Entertaining and informative, No Impact Man can offer first-year students a fresh perspective on their roles and responsibilities in the new community.”—The Journal of College Orientation and Transition

What does it really take to live eco-effectively? When the guilt about his high-impact lifestyle finally got to Colin Beavan, he swore off plastic, went organic, became a bicycle fanatic, turned off his electricity, and devoted himself to saving the polar bears and the rest of the planet from environmental catastrophe while dragging his young daughter and his Prada-wearing wife along for the ride. This is the sensational, funny, and consciousness-raising story of how they did it. With No Impact Man, Beavan found that no-impact living is worthwhile—and richer, fuller, and more satisfying in the bargain. “You have to give Colin Beavan credit; the man put his money where his mouth is. A self-proclaimed ‘guilty liberal’ tired of the world’s general ecological decline, he decided to change his life. And in no small way. Even better, he did it with a sense of humor.”—The Boston Globe

Colin Beavan


Colin Beavan’s writing has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. He lives in New York City. For more information on the book, blog, documentary, and nonprofit project please visit his website at

No Impact Man has been adopted for thirty-five First-Year Experience programs:

Atlantic Cape Community College (NJ); Baker University (KS); Bowling Green State University (OH); Cleveland State University; Community College of Baltimore County; Corning Community College (NY); Des Moines Area Community College; Florida State College, Jacksonville; Illinois Wesleyan University; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Johnson & Wales University (RI); Loyola University, Chicago; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Northern Arizona University; Northern Virginia Community College, Extended Learning Institute; Ohio State University; Pennsylvania State University, Altoona; Purdue University (IN); Purdue University, North Central (IN); Rollins College (FL); Texas State University; University of Arkansas; University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; University of Kentucky; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Missouri, Kansas City; University of North Carolina, Wilmington; University of Northern Colorado; University of Rhode Island; University of South Carolina; University of Texas, Austin; University of Toledo (OH); University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse; Young Harris College (GA)

Beyond the Book

The No Impact Project organization can help you plan and execute a week-long No Impact Experiment on your campus! Students will reflect on their own environmental impact as they consider a different impact area each day: Consumption, Trash, Transportation, Food, Electricity, Water, and Giving Back.


Visit No Impact Project to learn more about the program and the No Impact Week toolkit for universities!

The No Impact Project has also created a free environmental education curriculum that can be adapted for college students.

The documentary film No Impact Man shows Colin and his family in action as he takes on the No Impact Experiment himself. The film is available for screening on campus through Oscillscope Laboratories.

No Impact Man trailer: