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Building a Better World in Your Backyard: Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys

Narrated by: Michael Hatak
Length: 5 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Luxuriant Environmentalism

Make a huge, positive, global difference from your own home! Prioritize comfort over sacrifice while saving thousands of dollars. Explore dozens of solutions and their impacts on carbon footprint, petroleum footprint, toxic footprint, and other environmental issues.

If 20 percent of the population implemented half the solutions in this book, it would solve the biggest global problems. All without writing to politicians, joining protests, signing petitions, or being angry at the people that are causing the problems.

Good solutions are often different from conventional environmental wisdom. The average American adult has a carbon footprint of 30 tons per year. Replacing a petroleum car with an electric car will cut 2 tons. But if you live in a cold climate and you switch from electric heat to a rocket mass heater, you will cut 27 tons!

Join Paul and Shawn on a journey featuring simple alternatives that you may have never heard of - alternatives that are about building a more symbiotic relationship with nature so we can all be even lazier.

Nurture nature and nature nurtures us all.

©2019 Shawn Klassen-Koop, Paul Wheaton (P)2019 Shawn Klassen-Koop, Paul Wheaton

What members say

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Hard to transfer...

But I think it worked. A ranging discussion of environmental issues and some sustainable solutions. Not solutions that are easy, but ones that actually don’t signal an improvement, but actually meet a significant metric after testing.

It would be nice if the tables were available online for free to reference since those in particular don’t really work in audio format, but the ebook is very cheap (10% of the audiobook cost) so it isn’t a significant barrier. I got the ebook to see those in format.

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Empowering! Gives me hope for the future.

If you are sick of feeling helpless about climate change, this book will give you hope. It is packed full of realistic, practical solutions. 

When I first heard some of the ideas presented in this book, I was skeptical, but the authors explain thoroughly the logic and experience behind each idea. They put to rest the idea that in order to save the earth we must sacrifice luxury and convenience. After listening, I feel motivated and empowered to change the world starting in my own little space. 

They don't rely on guilt tripping or fear; they just offer nice, positive solutions. A refreshing break from all the doom and gloom surrounding the climate. 

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Stop waiting for someone else to figure it out

Paul and Shawn provide an overview of the various environmental issues that are being faced world-wide, but then break down the options that can be taken 1 person at a time, without needing government intervention or some big industry to fundamentally change. Instead they explain how it's our choices we make as individuals which drive these bigger changes. It's also nice to see something offered beyond "replace your lightbulbs!" Instead you get a wide range of suggestions where some are pretty simple/easy and others involve more effort and offer bigger rewards.

It's up to the reader to choose what works for them, but whatever you choose to do it does get you to look at solutions from a different perspective. And I'm a big fan of individuals taking full control of fixes, and not waiting for governments officials who go wherever their campaign donations take them. This book provides an overview of a wide variety of things you can do now, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you. Their web site permies.com has more detail in the forums where people have discussed a lot of the ideas which are in the book.

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Proper way to start changing the world.

Book starts off slow and a bit too much hype. Hang in there and keep listening as the meat is there, it just takes some time to get to it.. The basic premise is how we can best change the world. This will do more to change the world than hosts of laws and infringements on people and out of control spending. Work smarter. Lots of information covered. Some I strongly agree with. Some neutral and some I disagree with. But that is the nice thing about this book none of that matters. If each of us does something worth while on the problem it doesn't matter what we do. Knocked one star off on performance because the voice especially early felt like a used car salesman and one overall because of a few things I disagreed with. Still very worth while and if action is taken this will produce more results than a lot of other things we can do to save the world. And it is done in peace rather than confrontation.

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  • M Cox
  • 01-15-20

A quick romp through practical steps for individuals to work towards a better future

This is a quick and light hearted romp through key steps that individuals can take to reduce their personal footprint on the world. It avoids big politics and focuses on the personal.

As someone very familiar with the world of permaculture and environmental thinking there was little that was new here, and most of the ideas were delivered as a superficial introduction, so there was little detail for me to take away. But the authors explicitly state that this book is written not with me as the target audience, but aimed at those new to environmental living to give them a taste of what is possible and practical. In this is definitely succeeds.

The covers the whole spectrum; compost toilets, vegetable growing, home building, energy consumption, quality of life, and more. All through the lens of experienced permaculture practitioners.

I would consider gifting this to relatives as a prompt towards change.