No Impact Man’s Top Ten Eco-Lifestyle Changes

1. Stop eating beef. Worldwide, beef production contributes more substantially to climate change than the entire transportation sector. Plus, a diet with no or less beef is better for you anyway.

2. Give up bottled water. The production of plastic water bottles together with the privatization of our drinking water is an environmental and social catastrophe. Bottled water costs more per gallon than gasoline. Plus, the health consequences of drinking water from plastic are not clear.

3. Observe an eco-sabbath. For one day or afternoon or even hour a week, don’t buy anything, don’t use any machines, don’t switch on anything electric, don’t cook, don’t answer your phone, and, in general, don’t use any resources. In other words, for this regular period, give yourself and the planet a break. Keep your regular eco-sabbath for a month. You’ll find that the enforced downtime represents an improvement to your life.

4. Tithe a fixed percentage of your income. Currently, many of our societal health and welfare services, at home and abroad, are tied to consumer spending which, in turn, depends upon planetary resource use. But the idea of buying stuff to help people is crazy, especially when you consider that our consumption is harming the habitat that we depend upon for our health, happiness and security. If you want to help, don’t go shopping. Just help. Commit to tithing part of your income to the non-profits of your choice.

5. Get there under your own steam. Commit to getting around by bike or by foot a certain number of days a month. Not only does this mean using fewer fossil fuels and creating less greenhouse gasses, it means you’ll get good, healthy exercise and we’ll all breathe fewer fumes. A city with pedestrian and bike traffic is a lot more pleasant to live in than a city filled with vehicles.

6. Commit to not wasting. Wasting resources costs the planet and your wallet. Don’t overheat or overcool your home–a few degrees make a huge difference. Let your clothes hang dry instead of using the dryer. Take half the trips but stay twice as long. If your old cell phone works, consider not getting another. Repair instead of rebuy. The list goes on and on.

7. Build a community. Play charades. Have dinners with friends. Sing together. Enjoying each other costs the planet much less than enjoying its resources. Let’s relearn to joke around and play in ways that cost nothing to our pocketbooks or our planet.

8. Take your principles to work. The old adage “the cost of doing business” can no longer hold true. We must act as though we care about the world at work as much as we do at home. A company CEO or a product designer has the power to make a gigantic difference through their business, and so do the rest of us.

9. Dedicate a day’s worth of TV viewing to eco-service each week. The average American watches four and a half hours of TV a day. Take one day off from the tube each week and joining with others to improve our planet. Voluntary eco-service is a great way to find community who support your values and also a great way to learn about environmental issues and the quality of life issues that go along with them.

10. Believe with all your heart that how you live your life makes a difference to all of us. We are all interconnected. We make a difference to each other on many different levels. Every step towards living a conscious life where we consider the consequences of our actions provides support to everyone else–whether you know it or not–who is trying to do the same thing. We are the masters of our destinies. Let’s act as though it is so.

1 comment to No Impact Man’s Top Ten Eco-Lifestyle Changes

  • Hi xx,

    My name is Hilary and I work for Rooftop Films ( I’m writing to let you know about our screening of “No Impact Man” on Thursday, June 11th in Williamsburg.

    “No Impact Man” is the story of the writer-activist Colin Beavan who challenges himself to live one year without making any environmental impact. The event will be an evening-long eco-carnival, with various ways of creatively engaging and entertaining the audience and inspiring them to make changes in their own lives to help the environment.

    I’ve attached the information about the screening below.

    If you have any questions, please contact Danielle whose information is listed below. We’d be delighted to speak further about the film, and the event.


    Danielle Kourtesis
    Music and Outreach Manager, Rooftop Films
    232 3rd Street, #D101
    Brooklyn, NY 11215

    Underground Movies Outdoors
    Weekends, May – September 2009

    Venue: On the lawn of Automotive High School
    Address: 50 Bedford Ave. @ North 13th St. (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
    Directions: L to Bedford Ave. or G to Nassau Ave.
    Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held indoors at the same location
    8:00PM: Doors open
    8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music by The Hungry March Band
    9:00PM: Films
    11:30PM-1:00AM: After-party: Open Bar at Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave. @ Driggs) Courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner
    Tickets: $9 at the door or online
    Presented in partnership with: The Fledgling Fund, Cinereach, New York magazine, IndiePix, Shooting People, Council Member David Yassky & Automotive High School

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