In the name of living his New York City life with as little environmental impact as possible, Colin Beavan embarked on a punishing project five years ago. He and his family stopped taking the elevator to their ninth-floor Manhattan apartment; they did their laundry by stomping on it in the tub; for about six months, they even went without electricity at home. Mr. Beavan called the project No Impact Man, scored a book deal and became the subject of a documentary.
Now, Mr. Beavan is engaged in an endeavor that may be even more punishing: a run for Congress on the Green Party ticket. His platform is as much about getting New Yorkers engaged in politics, promoting local businesses and reducing economic dependence on corporations as it is about fossil fuels. But it was the actions that mostly took place in his apartment five years ago that put him on the radar of Green Party activists who eventually recruited him to run.