No impact man

With the infamous BP oil spill spreading further and further out to our oceans, people are becoming more aware of how dire our environment situation really is. The ecosystem is being steadily destroyed and with the elections just passed, voters are being bombarded with anti-proposition 23 campaigns, which would postpone the Global Warming Act of 2006 until unemployment rates are below 5.5 percent for four consecutive quarters. We are slowly becoming a more "green" nation and turning to sustainable life styles.

One man that really set out to prove people can life in more harmonious ways with the planet was the "No Impact Man." Colin Beavan and his Wife, Michelle, along with their 2-year-old daughter Isabella, set out to film and make a documentary about living a "zero impact" lifestyle in New York for one year. They took it upon themselves to experiment at producing less trash and getting rid of wasteful habits.

Only using bicycles and razor scooters for transportation, they didn't use any harmful house products like toothpaste and shampoo but instead made their own out of organic sources. They only bought produce that was in season and provided by the local farms and they avoided eating out and shopping for new clothes. Colin even wired his laptop through a solar panel to successfully show that the sun truly is an untapped energy source.

While this lifestyle is a bit extreme, they have definitely proven that it is possible to live off of nothing, and that it can be done through awareness and commitment.

The family admitted to having strong difficulties on staying committed themselves but once they got use to it they agreed that they had become much happier and healthy individuals with more time and energy to do things that really matter. Last Friday the movie was shown at the SMC Performing Arts Center and they had some guest speakers commenting on the documentary and its connection to a more green living. William Selby, SMC geography and earth science teacher, had five big tips on sustainable living that anyone can start doing without sacrificing their lifestyles.


1. Bike when you can to wherever you can. It's healthier for you and the planet.

2. Cut down on meat consumption. It's one of the two biggest polluting hazards we have.

3. Volunteer and inform.

4. Shop locally for seasonal and organic food.

5. Take the bus when you can. You'll save money and spend fewer nerves on trying to find parking spaces.


"If I can do a few changes without anything radical, other people will see it and it will start a change. It will make me and everyone feel better," said Joan Waller, a patron of the documentary. She represents all of us and what we can all do to preserve the planet not only for future generations but for ourselves too. On Oct. 29, Santa Monica College adopted its very own newly completed solar and energy efficiency project, which is expected to save the college more than $14 million over the life of the project.

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