Thursday, January 14, 2010

No Impact Man DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Chronicles Carbon Footprint of Eco-Conscious Family

Colin Beavan’s wife, Michelle, must have thought her husband had lost his mind when he pitched her on his idea of minimizing the family’s carbon footprint for a year by going without a car, electrical appliances and most other modern conveniences. After all, they had a toddler to think of, too, and this experiment would mean that little Isabella would have to wear cloth diapers instead of disposables. And without any electricity, they would have to be cleaned by hand in a bathtub instead of in a washing machine.
But besides their daughter, the Beavans had to consider the fact that they didn’t live in the country but in an apartment building on 5th Avenue in lower Manhattan. So, sacrificing technology would involve a lot of hardships in technology-driven New York City, such as climbing up nine flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator. Plus, whenever they traveled, they’d have to walk or ride a bike because buses and trains were also no-no’s.
As for meals, Colin’s plan called for them to consume only foods grown locally, so they’d have to walk daily to the nearby farmer’s market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. After all, without a refrigerator, perishables weren’t going to last very long.
Despite the obvious challenges in store for them, Michelle agreed to go green, and the upshot of that effort is delightfully-chronicled in No Impact Man, an inspirational, back-to-nature documentary likely to leave you rethinking your consumption habits and asking yourself whether you’re doing your best to preserve the planet. For, while watching this couple’s Spartan existence, you can’t help but think of a few easy ways to help the environment yourself.
However, it’s not exactly smooth-going for the back-to-nature Beavans, as jealous Michelle is frustrated periodically that the project is called “No Impact Man,” and that Colin, who was writing a book about it, was getting all the national publicity from radio, TV and newspapers. In addition, the 40 year-old, reluctant Earth mother starts hearing her biological clock tick mid-year and would much rather be having another child than be facing a daily restriction to natural daylight and subsisting on roots and berries.
Bravo to the Beavans for serving as role models to prove that anyone can make a difference right wherever you are just by doing whatever you can to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: Oscilloscope Pictures

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