No Impact Man is an inspiring (and surprisingly emotional) documentary about a man who pulls his family along for an experiment to see how much they can reduce their environmental impact over the course of a year. It’s similar to Survivor, but they’re in a big city full of temptations and you keep thinking the wife is going to vote herself off. The conditions get pretty extreme – no electricity, no garbage, no transportation, no toxic products, and they even avoided toilet paper (do they get TP in Survivor?)
As you can imagine, the family go through an emotional roller coaster, with the wife coming full circle, and No Impact Man (Colin Beavan) finding much of what he was looking for. At the end you learn that No Impact Man was often asked what is the single best change in behavior one person can make for the environment. After trying to do everything, he realized that the one best action is any kind of community engagement for a green cause. You might not expect to hear that, but it makes great sense.
Helping others in an environmental cause trumps all else because it is the gift that keeps on giving. Through working with others we see the interconnectedness of our efforts. We inspire others and get further inspired ourselves. We see progress and strengthen our hope. We learn and teach, give and receive. We get unified and committed. These are exponentially powerful benefits, and you don’t have the same experience or impact working on your own.
Here is the trailer video for the documentary. It’s definitely worth a watch.