No Impact Man points out the benefits of walking, cycling, and public transportation, and the dangers of one car per person. This New York City resident said he finally “snapped” and decided to go completely off the grid – no electricity at all – and he took his family with him. That means they have to eat fresh food, go to bed when it’s dark, and they gave up their car. The result: a happy, healthy family.
After 10 months, No Impact Man said they feel like “life as usual.” They’re just as happy as before, and don’t feel all that inconvenienced. They spend more time enjoying the company of friends and family. Positive psychologists find that the one thing that many people are lacking, that contributes to higher levels of depression, substance abuse, and suicide is community. The No Impact lifestyle allows for stronger ties to the community, because they can’t shut themselves in and watch TV or play video games. They have to connect. He concludes that if people spent less time worrying about “a booming economy” and more time thinking about how to build culture and increase ties to community, that we’d all be a lot happier. That idea doesn’t have to mean giving up electricity altogether. It’s simply a mindset change.
Are you ready for a Carectomy? No Impact Man shows a graphic of rates of public transportation use correlated to rates of obesity. The USA has the lowest rates of walking and public transportation, and the highest rates of obesity. That’s not the only factor, but it’s a big one. People who give up their car get a lot more exercise and are generally healthier.