Welcome to Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style. Isabella’s parents, Colin Beavan, 43, a writer of historical nonfiction, and Michelle Conlin, 39, a senior writer at Business Week, are four months into a yearlong lifestyle experiment they call No Impact. Its rules are evolving, as Mr. Beavan will tell you, but to date include eating only food (organically) grown within a 250-mile radius of Manhattan; (mostly) no shopping for anything except said food; producing no trash (except compost, see above); using no paper [including toilet paper!]; and, most intriguingly, using no carbon-fueled transportation.I hope that book isn't going to be printed on, you know, paper.
Mr. Beavan, who has written one book about the origins of forensic detective work and another about D-Day, said he was ready for a new subject, hoping to tread more lightly on the planet and maybe be an inspiration to others in the process.
Also, he needed a new book project and the No Impact year was the only one of four possibilities his agent thought would sell. This being 2007, Mr. Beavan is showcasing No Impact in a blog (noimpactman.com) laced with links and testimonials from New Environmentalist authorities like treehugger.com. His agent did indeed secure him a book deal, with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and he and his family are being tailed by Laura Gabbert, a documentary filmmaker and Ms. Conlin’s best friend.
There's only one way to have no impact: Don't get born. And I'm not trying to start an abortion debate here. I mean don't even be an unfertilized egg in the first place.
Yet even the unfertilized egg has an impact, one which normally consumes paper products. Do I need to look up the details of how Michelle Conlin handles her menstrual periods? Oh, the things women will do to help out their writer-husbands!