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

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Paperback, 412 pages
Published December 2019 by Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
FIVE STARS? That's a lot of stars! Well, this book deserves it. It's a quick, entertaining, and informative read, but none of that is terribly unusual for a book. No, I gave this thing five big honking stars because this book actually has a modest chance of creating POSITIVE CHANGE in the world, which is more than I can say for most books, even books that I really like.

This book is not just another book for permaculture-obsessed garden hipsters, although they will surely love it. Nor is it a
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As Buckminster Fuller said, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." And this book is chock full of 'new models' of how to do a zillion things... on a human-scale, daily, weekly, here and there, that will have an accumulative, dramatic, real-world effect (while the 'big boys' are swatting down the 'ragers'). I think the important changes happen from the bottom up... and here's the guidebook.
Jeanne Boyarsky
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Up front: I was one of the people who provided feedback on this book before it was published. I received a free copy in exchange. I'm pleased to see all my feedback was included.

Sometimes when you read a book, it sounds like the author. The book sounds like Paul. I enjoyed the aspects of humor including the phrase “possibly point and laugh” on the copyright page. Other elements of humor that made me smile included “the cancer fairy”, “My guess is that the boat was afraid of the dark”, “dirty cup
Aleksandar Janković

When I heard that Paul Wheaton is self-publishing a book on Kickstarter I was excited and apprehensive at the same time.

Paul has been getting his hands dirty for years in Permaculture and sharing information in rambling podcasts and forum posts, and it was about time his knowledge and experience was condensed into a book.

On the other hand, I was apprehensive because having taken part in some of his previous Kickstarter campaigns, the end product never lived up to the hype (on top of
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are many chapters that did not interest me, but plenty of novel information to make it worth it.
The author has a good sense of humor that permeates this book and makes it a pleasure to read.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've read plenty of books about the problem, but far fewer books that give concrete, actionable ideas that are as simple as, *don't put artificial fertilizers or herbicides on your lawn.* That simple act will not only decrease fossil fuel use (which is what artificial fertilizer is made from), but it will save the rivers and oceans that receive the rain run-off from your lawn, start to return carbon to the soil of your lawn, a mixed lawn (mine has crocus that just finished blooming and English ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This straightforward no nonsense book runs through numerous ways you and anyone can both have less negative impact on the world and still live what the authors call a luxurious life.
A Moore
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book contains some great ways you can reduce your environmental footprint without reducing your luxury. They range from the simple ones that even I can do to rather complex ones suitable for folks building a new house.

Much of the material comes from the discussions and articles on, and there are copious links back to that site to allow you to learn more about many topics.

It's a quick read, but will give you years of ideas to work on.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is derived from the hope that was left in Pandora's box.

A calm calming voice in the stampede of chickens running around without their heads.

The immediacy and urgency of modernity is helping to distract from the perspective we so desperately need to properly effect our future in positive ways.

Some simple, some not so easy, steps to build a better world, to get to a more sustainable and productive life.

Building a better world in your backyard, even works when you don't (yet?) have a back
Dominick Triola
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
For anyone who is not already familiar with the world of permaculture, this is a great introduction to it. For those who are familiar, I'm sure there will be at least some ideas in this book that are new to you or offer an alternative (maybe cheaper and more luxurious) way of doing something.

The humor interjected throughout keeps this non-fiction book entertaining and easy to read, and it is refreshingly optimistic about how much an individual can help make a better world.

My only gripe would be
Wojciech Górny
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I live in a cold climate, so this book is tailored exactly for my needs. I'm in a transition phase between corporate job and early retirement combined with homesteading, so it fits perfectly my situation. I was an avid reader of and Paul's writings for over six years, so after reading the table of contents I was pretty sure that "I know it all". I was wrong.

The book sums it up. It makes connections between separate topics I thought I knew, by providing metrics for each problem and
Colin Skelly
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finally, some direction on simple things that anyone can do to actually change the world around them. And more importantly to not damage the world beneath their feet. A lot of the books on the environment focus on the problem and why the world is doomed. Paul Wheaton delivers some easy to follow guidelines to actually stop adding to the mess and clean up your own side of the street, and back yard.
Marquita Graves
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Want to stop bitching and moaning about the state of the world? Want to find concrete ways to clean up your piece of it? This gem of a book is a door opener to a myriad of ways to do your part, save money, improve your health, and--wait for it--get to feel virtuous. Buy it, read it, pass it on...better yet, buy two copies, pass one on and keep the other for reference. Information leavened with humor. What could be better?
Pasquale DeAngelis
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I both read the book and listened to the podcasts discussing the chapters as they were written. The book is very well written and accessible. Many of the suggestions require little effort and just a bit of awareness. I supported the kickstarter and got ten books, most of which I have already given away.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read and full of wonderful and implementable suggestions for improving your life, environment, and your impact on the earth. Not everything discussed will apply to everyone, but there is something in it for everyone.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Everyone should read this because while no one (probably) can do everything in this book, everyone can do something here .
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick read full of lots of good ideas on living a more self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle. Details were left out which made reading this and getting the gist of the ideas a breeze. Unfortunately without the details I was often left wondering, is that really true? Or how exactly does that work? Anyone who does want to live the permaculture dream would probably enjoy this book and subsequently get lots in following the footnotes through to threads on Urbanites on the other ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Some nice ideas/opinions but without deeper evidence or science aproach. Nice book anyway.
Roney Chagas
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Dec 10, 2019
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Nov 03, 2019
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Jan 16, 2020
Hassena F
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Jerry McIntire
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Dec 12, 2019
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Nov 07, 2019
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Oct 27, 2019
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Oct 27, 2019
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Dec 06, 2019
Naomi Toftness
rated it it was ok
Oct 08, 2019
Jeanne Spears
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Jan 12, 2020
Shawn Bradley
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Dec 16, 2019
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