You may remember the No Impact Man blog, by a Manhattan-dwelling writer taking on the daunting task of living, with his reluctant wife and happy 2-year-old, as close to off-the-grid as possible for a year. That means giving up toilet paper, air conditioning and the refrigerator, among other horrors. Well, naturally their year of sacrifice and self-promotion was filmed by not just hoards of TV crews but by a documentary movie-maker, and I caught the result at the Silver Docs film festival.
Now the Man himself, who dreamed up this stunt/gimmick/ brilliant, transformative project (depending on your perspective) is frankly a tad insufferable at times but lucky for him, his wife is funny and grounded – in a shopaholic, Starbucks-addicted sort of way. At the end of the year, after being an incredibly good sport about the project, she declares that the worm composting HAS TO GO. (I shudder to imagine their hot apartment filled with fruit flies from the Man's inadequately researched vermicomposting operation – flies that could have been prevented.) But the project did change her in positive ways, charmingly evidenced by her discovery of farmers' markets and – at the age of 39 – cooking! (We hear her say with a look of wonder on her face that she'd never cooked dinner before.) I love this woman.
Oh, and the aging hippie who teaches the Man to grow food is also good fun.
Treehugger's review is a good one.
ADDENDUM: I forgot
to weigh in on the merits of the project! Seems to me it was a huge
success in bringing attention to the issues – in an entertaining way,
no less – and the point isn't whether they did it perfectly.
And sure, he's writing a book about it – he's a freelance writer – and
I hope he sells lots. Their apartment is so tiny I don't know how they
can stand it.