Common reading book promotes ‘no impact’ lifestyle

Story by Claire Sullivan, Writer

Salon 101 students are required to read No Impact Man: 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 by Colin Beavan as the new common reading book of 2016.

According to Dean of Students Cassy Bailey, faculty and staff members chose “No Impact Man” because it covered ecosystems and their impact, which is one of the important understandings behind elements of Baker’s curriculum.

The book follows Beavan as he decides to drag his family – his wife, daughter, dog and himself – along for an experiment for one year. Beavan’s experiment is to live an eco-friendly life for one year while living in an apartment in New York City.

Beavan’s experiment is divided into stages: consumption, energy, food, transportation and water. He decided to take steps of incorporating the different ways he hopes to lessen his family’s impact on the Earth.

The book includes some facts on the environment and human impact along with his first-hand experiences. For example, Beavan has a fact for how many diapers – which often end up in landfills – a child goes through by the time the child is 2 years old.

Beavan divided his book into a chronological order of the way in which he implemented the stages of his journey to be more conscious of the resources he and his family used.

In the back of the book, he includes pointers for the ways in which readers can become more eco-friendly themselves.

Beavan’s other works include How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness that Helps the World, Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America’s First Shadow War and Fingerprints.