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Live Sustainably Now: A Low-Carbon Vision of the Good Life

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  9 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Any realistic response to climate change will require reducing carbon emissions to a sustainable level. Yet even people who already recognize that the climate is the most urgent issue facing the planet struggle to understand their individual responsibilities. Is it even possible to live with a sustainable carbon footprint in modern American society--much less to live well? ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 31st 2019 by Columbia University Press
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Alicia Bayer
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Hmmm.... I admire the author and think this is such an important topic, but I had to make myself plod through this one and didn't find it actually helpful for my own family much at all. Coplan is a professor with a radically different life from most of us. He makes the rather long commute to work via a kayak and bicycles (one on each side of a river into and out of a city) much of the year, and an electric car when that's not possible. He keeps a notebook where he tracks almost all of his carbon ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Thank you Columbia University Press for the advance review copy.

Live Sustainably Now is so helpful I plan to read it again. It's a handbook for dramatically reducing your personal carbon footprint.

Not convinced individual action matters? Read the first chapter. Think avoiding single-use plastic is enough? Read the rest of the book.

Coplan not only lists which factors contribute to our carbon footprints but also explains what we can do about it. While many people in the zero waste/sustainabilit
Rachel Pollock
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This little book is a quick read, enumerating the author's strategies for changing your living practices to be more climate-conservation oriented. He explains a lot of the terms which get bandied about but which might seem confusing (carbon offsets, for example). He makes this overwhelming, anxious-making topic of climate disaster into something comprehensible, and offers practical suggestions for how you can make meaningful change in your own practices.

He uses the conceit of alternating chapter
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Individual climate action is now more important than ever. #KarlCoplan

As someone currently looking into reducing her carbon footprint, this book was inspiring and instructive. I highlighted most of this book! Coplan keeps a monthly carbon diary, explains his carbon usage and then explains a science-y item of living sustainably. At the end he summarizes, there is no silver bullet but everyone must start somewhere and start sooner rather than later. Highly recommend for the eco warriors out there
Andrew Spink
In the preface (the book as both a prologue and a preface, which is a bit excessive), the author tells us that the book is written for committed environmentalists. I would hope to put myself in that category, so this was clearly a book for me! He makes a strong case for setting clear goals for your carbon footprint and making sure that those goals are realistic, leaving room for 'fun' otherwise you are never going to keep it up. Despite the stated aim, quite a lot of the argumentation seemed to ...more
Hana Correa
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a 3.5 rounded up to a 4. This is more or less one man’s take on his mission to bring his own carbon emissions into the realm of what would be considered a sustainable number by expert standards. I started reading this book because I consider myself climate forward and believe that every level of engagement needs to do more, from the individual through the national governments. A stark characteristic mentioned in the book is that the typical emissions produced by one American lifestyle ca ...more
A personal, practical guide to low-carbon living. For the past decade, Coplan has restricted himself to four tons of carbon a year—40% of the average American’s annual emissions. The book does not advocate joyless self-denial. In fact, it contends that a decision to “sweat the big stuff” by selecting sustainable electricity, heating, transportation, and food options leaves latitude for indulgences. Incisive comparisons are made to other social revolutions that required laypeople’s action, includ ...more
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