Film and TV

Q&A with No Impact Man Colin Beavan

Author and self-proclaimed No Impact Man Colin Beavan is loved and hated with equal passion. In 2006, the New York City resident came up with an idea for a new book: He and his family, consisting of wife (and BusinessWeek writer) Michelle Conlin and toddler Isabella, would spend a year trying to make no impact on the environment (or at least as little as possible), and he'd write about the process. The clan subsequently gave up everything from TV to toilet paper as Beavan energetically publicized his efforts via regular appearances on Good Morning America and interviews with pretty much any media outlet that would provide him with a forum (and plenty did). Along the way, he was either celebrated as an ecological hero or savaged as a egomaniacal putz trying to ride a stunt to fame.

Today, Beavan remains in promotional mode. He's just published No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process, and he's at the center of a No Impact Man, a documentary film that opens today at the Chez Artiste. Look below for an extended conversation with Beavan about both projects, during which he alternately defends himself from criticism and does his best to focus attention on what we can do to improve our lives and the planet -- his oft-stated goal.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts