It's not clear whether Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein, the directors of the new documentary No Impact Man (Oscilloscope Pictures), know how irritating their protagonist is. In the fall of 2006, Colin Beavan, a New York-based writer, embarked on a project to reduce his family's environmental footprint to a bare minimum, an experience he would turn into a blog and later a book. Along with his wife, Michelle Conlin, a writer for the thoroughly un-green periodical Business Week, and their 2-year-old daughter Isabella, Beavan would go one year without using any nonself-propelled transportation, eating any nonlocally grown food, or even riding an elevator to their ninth-floor apartment. The family would eschew electricity, commercial cleaning products, retail shopping, and toilet paper.
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