BGSU to host ‘No Impact Man’ Colin Beavan

Colin Beavan

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Programs related to the Bowling Green State University Common Reading Experience are lined up through the end of October, including a visit from the “No Impact Man” himself, Colin Beavan, and a “trash audit” of a campus garbage bin. 

Beavan’s book, “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,” chronicles the year he spent living in New York City using no electricity, plastic, automobiles, toilet paper or other staples of modern life in an effort to lighten his environmental “footprint.”

Readers can hear from Beavan in person when he gives a talk at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The event is free and open to the public.

Students met in breakout groups on Opening Weekend to discuss his book. “Faculty have also incorporated ‘No Impact Man’ into their courses, giving students even more opportunity throughout the semester to explore many of the important issues raised,” said Colleen Boff, interim associate dean of University Libraries.

The book has made a big impact on at least one student. Abbey Tobe is attempting to live a year in a residence hall trash-free and is sharing her experience online.

“My blog is for my Honors project, which was inspired by ‘No Impact Man.’ I am an Environmental Science major, so I wanted to do something for a project to show change and not just talk about it. After reading ‘No Impact Man’ last summer, I was inspired to try a similar, but less extreme project for my senior year. The blog is documenting the experiences I've had and will have over the next several months. I am excited for this project and anticipate the challenges I will face in completing it.”

The No Impact Film Fest begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Union Theater with “No Impact Man: The Documentary.” Following the screening, Dr. Gary Silverman, chair of the environment and sustainability department and director of the Center for Environmental Programs, will moderate a panel discussion among faculty and students. Five more films will be shown before month’s end, all free of charge.

Net Impact Green will do the trash audit, spreading the contents of the bin across the Union Oval from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 18 to show what items thrown out could have been recycled.

Other events focus on eating and food production, energy and alternative transportation.

Some of the goals of the Common Reading Experience are to promote critical thinking, have students read beyond textbooks and create a sense of community. Books must relate to the human experience and be of interest to both men and women.

A list of programs related to the book can be viewed at http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/sa/firstyear/page97371.html

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(Posted October 12, 2011 )