Wednesday, September 29, 2010

No Impact Man: The Documentary (2009)

This unpretentious documentary is about a family who tries out a novel experiment to go one year without any environmental impact.  They gradually phase out all disposable items so that they produce no garbage.  They stop using carbon-powered transportation, so they only ride bikes to work.  Then they stop using electricity.  This forces them to go outside and stop being cooped up inside watching reality TV.  A company donated them a solar panel so that they could still use their computer to update the blog.  They made radical changes like not using plastic disposable diapers, doing laundry in the bathtub, composting all of their food scraps, etc. but they seemed to grow accustomed over time.  Some things didn't work well like the pot-in-a-pot (Nigerian refrigeration), but overall it seems even the biggest skeptic, the wife, seemed to turn a new leaf before the experiment ended.  She seemed to no longer be pre-diabetic because of the organic, plant-based local foods diet from the Farmer's Market, she weened herself off her caffeine addiction, and she even got over her reality TV obsession.  It's a simple documentary that lets you witness how an average American family living in NYC copes with the trials and tribulations of living with minimal environmental impact on the world.

It was rather surprising the backlash they received from environmentalists, who claimed he was only doing it for fame and fortune.  Even if that were true, I don't see why that should set people off.  He's doing something good for the environment and if he wants to make a living while doing it, it shouldn't affect others.  Also, he seemed very earnest in his belief in reducing a negative carbon footprint.  His wife, who was an admittedly addictive consumer (who spent nearly $1,000 on Chloe boots right before the project) resisted him most of the way so it wasn't an easy task.

1 comment:

  1. This seems pretty interesting. Will definitely check it out one of these days.