“No Impact Man” seeks a practical and sustainable lifestyle

December 28, 2007 | By | 2 Replies More

I ran across a site I’m really enjoying, No Impact Man.  Who is “No Impact Man”?  He is a fellow who got tired of only talking about living an ecologically responsible lifestyle:

I am no eco-expert. I am just a liberal schlub who got sick of not putting my money where my mouth was. In a way, the whole project is a protest against my highly-principled, lowly-actioned former self. I’m fumbling through, trying to do my best and doing the research as I go along. This blog is my attempt to tell you how it’s going.

Ok.  It’s time to walk the walk.  But what is the plan? 

Stage one was figuring out how to live without making garbage: no disposable products, no packaging, etc. Stage two was figuring out how to cause the least environmental impact with our food choices. Stage three is figuring out how to reduce our consumption to only what is necessary and how to do that sustainably. The whole thing gets harder and harder as we add each stage.

The site is a bubbling ferment of practical tips on living an ecologically responsible lifestyle.  Here are a ton of tips, in a post called “Cure the Planet’s Fever.”  And why vacation far from home?  After all, there are “Opportunities in the Crisis.”  And here are a bunch of tips for not making trash. 

But can you take this living responsibly stuff too far?  No Impact Man says “yes”:

This point, “the goal,” is really just the place where you are really conscious of what you use. You don’t take things for granted. You understand that your actions have consequences for other people and the planet. It is the point between asceticism and waste, between self-denial and self-indulgence. It is the place of balance.

I can already see many people scoffing at this site, the same people who are going to be doing many of these things in ten years.  That is the way the (warm) wind is blowing.  We’re all going to have to live smarter and lighter if we’re going to thrive.  

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Category: Energy, Environment

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Mary says:

    I ran across No Impact Man's blog a while ago. The guy really seems to be doing the best he can for the earth, but without being freakishly extreme. Very thoughtful.

  2. Vicki Baker says:

    No Impact Man is great! And the best thing is that he is doing his thing right in the middle of New York City, which goes to show that you can be crunchy anywhere, even in the epicenter of slick hipness.

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