As I read the No Impact Guide my spirit lightened. We were being asked to pay attention, be honest with ourselves and let go of preconceived notions, even our concept of what we need to make ourselves happy.
It's true you can turn compost into a science, investing in turners, tillers, elevated storage bins, and doubtless a host of other implements with which I am as yet unacquainted. The question is, why bother?
Understanding the "life-cycle" of any consumable good offers a fairly accurate sense of how "green" it really is -- basically, where things come from and what happens to them when we are done with them.