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Shedding light on life after dark

The 'No Impact Man:' New York Is the "Heart of Consumption"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Photo courtesy Shadowbox Films Inc.
    Colin Beavan and daughter shop at a Farmer's Market in his documentary, "No Impact Man."

    When author and activist Colin Beavan decided to film "No Impact Man," the documentary film following his family’s endeavor to “live deliberately," he knew it had to be made in Manhattan.

    “It’s the heart of consumption," he said. "Madison Avenue. New York City."

    “It’s one thing to be in the middle of the woods and do it. But to do this in the middle of New York City [demonstrates that] you can live in New York and lead a good life and still be careful.”

    In the documentary, his family -- himself, his wife and their two-year-old daughter -- stopped using electricity, drinking coffee and shopping for just about anything. They bought food only from a local farmer’s market, and used a compost container teeming with wriggling worms.

    He screened the movie Friday night at SoHo House, and then sat down for a Q&A with the audience.

    Beavan said he continues some of the practices he adopted for the movie. He doesn't live by candlelight, but he bikes or walks everywhere (including the screening, despite frigid temperatures),

    "It makes sense that the things we [continue to do] are the things that are actually good for our lives," he said. “The thing that I’m really interested is this intersection of human quality of life and environmental quality of life.”