Colin Beavan, also widely known as No Impact Man, and his family accomplished the extraordinary feat of not impacting the environment for an entire year. Through the acts such as using worms for composting and biking everywhere instead of driving, the entire family were able to pull off a lifestyle of zero impact on the environment for a year in New York City. This experiment proved to be highly successful in showing that it is possible for an entire family to have no impact on the environment when the effort is put in, although it seemed like they struggled quite a bit. While I find this experiment incredibly impressive, it proves to me that while having zero impact on the environment is possible, it’s most certainly not probable. Today’s lifestyles require an efficiency to our actions, and Colin Beavan’s ‘No Impact’ lifestyle requires a huge amount of effort and planning to upkeep. Almost everyone, especially those living in large urban cities, are incredibly busy with jam-packed schedules revolving around their work, friends, and family. It just doesn’t seem practical in this day and age to make the tremendous effort of having no impact on the environment at the cost of your own comfort and time.

Despite this, Colin Beavan and his family’s effort to help the environment is very inspiring, and I would most certainly be willing to take little steps towards that goal. I looked up a few different ways that any individual can do to help impact the environment less, and there are quite a few things anyone can do to help very easily. Actions as simple as taking shorter showers, or not shaving while the water is running can help, especially if people in the community become aware of this simple action. Other easy things that can be done to help are recycling plastics, driving a fuel efficient vehicle, making dinner with locally grown produce and cutting food into smaller pieces so they cook more quickly, and unplugging electronic appliances or shutting down the computer when one is done using it are all simple things one can do in passing while going about day to day activities. I would be willing and will begin to do all these simple things if it will both reduce the impact on the environment, as well as not disrupt my day to day schedule.

While searching online for something that can be done to help reduce the impact on the environment, I discovered this great website which has numerous lists of different things one can do to help reduce the impact on the environment.

This link has more in-depth descriptions of how to have low impact on the environment and even breaks it down by room, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and office.

-Elaine Wu


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