In 2007 Colin Beavan along with his wife, 2 year old daughter and dog decided to embark upon an eco experiment. Their aim was to live a year without making any net impact to the environment. This basically meant creating no rubbish, no carbon emissions, putting no toxins in the water (i.e. shampoo, detergent etc), using no lifts, no cars, no products in packaging, no TV, no toilet paper, they couldn’t buy any new items (clothes etc) and from the 6 month mark, use no electricity.
The idea behind this experiment was to show what actually could be done, by each and every one of us, to help reduce our impact on the environment. There was no preaching and Colin was one of the first to point out that at the end of the experiment he planned to return to a more regular eco-friendly existence.
A documentary and book were produced during this experiment to chart the highs and lows experienced by Colin and his family. I watched this recently on NetFlix and can say without any hesitation that Colin is truly inspiring. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to throw the toilet paper out just yet, but I often feel, like many of us I guess that although I do my bit, I’m sure I could actually do a little more to help the environment.
Watching the documentary I initially couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for Colin’s wife Michelle. It was very clear that Michelle initially had a much harder time adapting to the strict eco lifestyle than Colin did. A self confessed caffeine addict, she represented the regular, consumer obsessed person of today. Michelle had been advised by her doctor that she was on the verge of being diagnosed with type two diabetes. This preventable disease is sadly a common condition these days, a side effect of the fast food, high fat diets many of us seem to subscribe to.
The documentary filmed over the course of a year, shows the dramatic impact the strict eco life has on the family. As they don’t have a TV to sit in front of, the family and on occasion friends, sit and talk, laugh, play charades and cards and generally get to know each other. It’s a really nice thing to see and something that I guess is missing from 99% of peoples houses these days. Another noticeable impact is the health of Colin and his family improves significantly. Their locally produced, unprocessed diet and frequent exercise from bike riding, scootering, not to mention climbing endless flights of stairs actually reverses Michelle’s initial diabetes diagnosis. No pills, no faddy diets, just eating well and exercising regularly.
I mentioned earlier that I was inspired by Colin and his family. After watching the documentary I powered up my laptop and had a look at Colin’s “No Impact Man” blog. It’s a good read and it’s nice to see Colin hasn’t rested on his laurels.
From a tech point he used Typepad for his blogging tool rather than the more popular WordPress. It’s worth mentioning at this point though that he hasn’t updated this site since 2012 and has since moved onto a more bespoke site. His new “No Impact Man” site uses a nice simple template. It fits well with the subject matter, looks clean and is easy to read. As a keen blogger myself I thought I’d search for some inspiring environmental style WordPress templates for all you lovely people out there interested in giving some love back to the planet.
My searching uncovered some really attractive WordPress templates that would add impact to anyones eco blog. In fact I’ve found so many that I want to dedicate a full post to them. If you have a WordPress Eco Blog, if you’re thinking about creating one or if like me you are inspired by Colin and his family, please watch this space as I’ll be posting some shortly.
Until then if you have a spare couple of hours I strongly advise you rent, borrow or stream “No Impact Man”, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.