No Impact Man is coming to a screen near you.
This movie will be shown for free on Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Theatre. The film follows Colin Beavan, his wife and their toddler in a yearlong attempt to reduce their carbon footprint to the lowest possible level.
Over a dozen city and campus organizations are co-sponsoring this event, including the city of Davis and the Cool Davis Initiative (CDI).
“The mission of CDI is to help Davis make a transition ultimately toward a zero-energy community and reduce carbon footprint,” said Lynne Nittler of CDI. “This film is very much learning how to do that.”
The documentary examines changes to lifestyles, habits and household systems to support a low impact life, Nittler said.
A low impact lifestyle is living with the lowest possible energy use.
“The way one lives has some sort of impact on the environment,” said Manny Rin, a junior environmental policy analysis and planning major and founder of Make Davis Cool, the student branch of CDI. “Low impact means to act and live sustainably in ways that there will be the least effect on the environment.”
The screening, hosted by Mayor Joe Krovoza, will be a kickoff to the Cool Davis Low Impact Week Challenge.
This is a citywide effort to reduce carbon footprint each day over a week. Audience members will be given a handout about the challenge at the screening.
Everyone, including those who cannot attend the screening, can participate in the challenge. An outline is available on the CDI website, which gives simple daily tips on how to reduce carbon use. During the week of the challenge, daily tips will also be published in The Davis Enterprise. The challenge will culminate on March 3 to a community potluck dinner and discussion.
“At the potluck, people can talk about their experience with the challenge,” Nittler said. “We’ll also help [participants] take the next steps to keep with the changed habits.”
CDI will reintroduce the Low Carbon Diet program, a more intensive carbon reduction challenge in which household representatives form teams that meet every other week.
“You’ll know where you get stuck [on this challenge]. When you take on the challenge in a group, you start to hear ideas from other people,” Nittler said.
The No Impact Man himself reiterates the importance of social support to make this challenge a lifestyle.
“Look for like-minded individuals and work together,” Beavan said in an email interview. Other organizations are also planning carbon reduction programs after the screening.
The Energy Service Corps will be recruiting participants to sign a pledge to lower their carbon impact. Audience members may also sign up to get an energy audit for their homes.
Make Davis Cool is sponsoring the Green Greek Initiative starting this week to challenge fraternities and sororities to lower the energy use at their houses. CalPIRG is putting on a Lights Out event during Earth Week to increase energy efficiency and awareness on campus.
“You can learn so much from these programs. There’s a lot of ways that you can lower your carbon footprint, like driving your car less, eating more sustainably and going to Farmers Market,” Rin said. “It’s stuff that a lot of people do but [do not] realize the importance behind it.”
According to Beavan, the first challenge is to undergo self-examination.
“If you watch too much TV, watch less TV. If you spend too much on heat, turn it down. In other words, look for that area of your life which could improve by living more environmentally,” Beavan said.
Afterward, the next challenge is to keep those improvements permanent.
“Habits have to change. Once we sustain that change, our lives will be greatly different,” Nittler said. “This film is a good starting point for that change.”
Tickets are limited and can be reserved on the CDI website.
SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.