Just one day after Al Gore testified to Congress about global warming, The New York Times printed a 2,247-word profile on a family striving to have no environmental impact for one year in order to write a book about it.
“Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style,” wrote Penelope Green, who made the yearlong living experiment sound idyllic and even popular rather than extreme, which it certainly is.
The family, Colin Beavan, Michelle Conlin and their 2-year-old daughter, are going to extremes such as going with toilet paper or any other paper products, only buying organic food grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan, and never using the elevator, a car, taxi, train or plane. Add to that list the microwave, incandescent lights, the food processor, dishwasher and the coffee maker and you get some sort of idea of what their life must be like.
“But there are hundreds of other light-footed, young abstainers with a diarist urge: it is not news that this shopping-averse, carbon-footprint-reducing, city-dwelling generation likes to blog (the paperless, public diary forum),” Green continued.
Green did not point out the irony of the family’s No Impact experiment being turned into a book by Beavan – which will presumably be printed on paper and sold in bookstores across the country. Beavan himself admitted on his blog that the idea originated with his pitching book ideas to his agent. And a documentary is planned to follow.