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How to Save the World For Free

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There is no greater aspiration than saving the world. Natalie Fee's upbeat and engaging book is a life-altering guide to making those changes that will contribute to helping our planet. Covering all key areas of our lives, from food and leisure to travel and sex, Natalie will galvanize you to think and live differently. You will feel better, live better, and ultimately breathe better in the knowledge that every small change contributes towards saving our world.

208 pages, Hardcover

First published October 21, 2019

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About the author

Natalie Fee

6 books9 followers
Natalie Fee is an award-winning environmentalist, author, speaker and founder of City to Sea, a UK-based organisation running campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source. Her new book, How to Save the World for Free, is a #1 Amazon bestseller (not that buying or selling on Amazon is a good thing, but at least it’s hitting the mainstream!). Natalie also sits on the Bristol Advisory Committee for Climate Change.

In 2019, Natalie was awarded the Sunday Times Volvo Visionaries Award for her cam-paign work. In 2018 she was listed as one of the UK’s ‘50 New Radicals’ by The Observ-er / Nesta and in the same year the University of the West of England awarded her the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. She won the Sheila McKechnie Award for Environmental Justice in 2017 for City to Sea's #SwitchtheStick campaign and is proud to have been named Bristol 24/7’s Woman of the Year for 2018.

She can be found on Instagram as nataliefee_ and on Twitter as nataliefee.

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5 stars
137 (30%)
4 stars
171 (38%)
3 stars
109 (24%)
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29 (6%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 79 reviews
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,718 reviews856 followers
August 10, 2022
quick thoughts:

• a well-structured, easy-to-read guide for people looking into the topic for the first time
• i did learn a bit and liked the more unconventional chapters, like the one about banking
• but there was so much general, abstract advice with no practical steps mentioned. i couldn't actually go out and make these changes without a lot of further research... which kind of defeats the point imo??
• (she did provide links and further reading & watch lists at the back though, so we'd at least know where to start)
• idk but maybe a book literally about saving the environment for free shouldn't have its advice centre around 'buy this instead of this'
• yay for having a gender-neutral section about periods, boo for using gendered language for everything else
• similarly boo for the allonormativity and ableism
• the author literally mentioned that straws are essential items for many disabled people in the same breath they recommended everyone switch to paper, metal or glass straws 🤦‍♀️
• i wasn't a fan of the smug, White Vegan™ tone
• and i would have prefered the advice to be a little more general, rather than uk & us focused
• idk, it was informative and quick but i'd rather reread Waste Not instead

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Profile Image for Jadey (the Bookish).
338 reviews123 followers
October 10, 2019
A concise environmental read outlining changes you can make to become more eco-friendly in all areas of your life!

I really liked the section about being sustainable in regards to having periods, and I loved that the wording was inclusive to trans people who have them too. I thought there were a lot of good ideas in here, and I thought that how the book was organised into different areas of our lives was a really good idea. Also, it's great that 10% of proceeds of this book will go to charity!!

I think my main gripe with this book is that the majority of suggestions in this book weren't free at all. For a book that is literally titled 'How to Save the World for Free', you'd think the emphasis would be on things that really are free and accessible to people who aren't middle class. However this wasn't really the case so I felt a bit betrayed. There was a part in the book that I thought illustrated this well, where the author talks about having instruments around the home and how they bought a second hand piano off of the site Gumtree. Most working class people do not have the spare funds to do this sort of thing, do not have the space in their house, and nor is this in any way 'free'.

Another issue I had with the book, was its attitude towards disability and straws. I liked that disabilities were acknowledged in regards to straw bans, but I think the information towards it was half baked and missed out a lot of the main issues. For example, most alternatives to plastic straws aren't usable by most people by disabilities who need straws, for a multitude of reasons. I also have heard stories from disabled people where they've been shouted at for asking for a plastic straw due to the widespread negativity associated with them and ignorance towards disability issues. Although the impact of eating fish was mentioned, I think perhaps it would have been good to emphasise how much more important cutting out fish is than straws. It's really important for societal change to be inclusive.

My other criticisms of the book would be that I don't think the part about sex added anything to the book. I didn't learn anything from it, and it felt like it was only added to be a bit edgy. If it was going to be included, I think more detail about making your own, lubes etc. is important as that is definitely something that can go wrong and it read as very vague. Additionally, the humour in the book just fell flat to me.

Overall, I learnt a couple new things that I will try to apply to my lifestyle from now on. I do think it's more a case of finding a few gems in the dirt, with a lot of the suggestions neither being free nor realistic. I think it was worth the read though, definitely if you're new to the environmental movement, although please don't let reading about peeing in a bottle put you off making changes!! Making changes doesn't need to be that extreme.

I'd like to add that I'm an Environmental Biology masters student, so am quite informed when it comes to this topic! If that helps.

I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Max.
750 reviews18 followers
August 17, 2019
Very practical book on things we can do to help resist climate change. Some of these are very easy to do and to incorporate in your daily life. Some are not totally free to do but can require an investment like water saving taps in the bathroom. Great and clear explanation of the things we need to protect and backed up with research. The writing style is easy to follow and fun. I think everyone should read this book. Loved the illustrations!

Thank you to the publisher for an ARC via NetGalley.
Profile Image for H..
304 reviews1 follower
November 17, 2019
EDIT: Knocking this down to one star because it sucks. It is a book with an anti-capitalism title that amounts to "buy this, not that," over and over and over again, never escaping the "ethical shopping" paradigm that helps people feel better in short term, small scale, individualistic ways, rather than forcing us all to acknowledge the totalizing grip that capitalism has on our every action—the system that got us into this mess to start with.


A title like How to Save the World For Free promises way too much environmental and anti-capitalist radicalism to be some individualistic, neoliberal "reduce your carbon footprint" junk. I need to do more than just buy bamboo toothbrushes or whatever. Big industry is killing the planet and we need to stop them. Single-use plastic production is going to triple, TRIPLE, by 2030 whether I use a reusable bag or not (and I do, for the record).

If you're looking for comfort and real change, I recommend How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell, Wilding by Isabella Tree, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and The Overstory by Richard Powers.
Profile Image for Cláudia Correia.
38 reviews4 followers
August 2, 2020
Brilliant. I’ve made two lists while I was reading this book “things to change ASAP” and “things to invest in the future”. So let’s do this and save the world.
15 reviews1 follower
July 18, 2019
I dont generally read nonfiction books, but like many others, in the past few years I have become increasingly worried about the environment and what the future will hold for humanity if we continue on our current trajectory. There has been a lot more media coverage about the climate crisis lately, so this book is coming out at a great time for those who are aware of the disaster we are facing, but who feel hopeless to do anything about it.

How to save the world for free is a brilliant guide for anyone who wants to make a difference but doesn't know how or where to start. There are some fantastic practical tips that I have taken away from this, such as how to reduce the amount of plastic in my bathroom, how to use more sustainable methods of cleaning, information about schemes to source locally produced foods, and the truth about the fashion industry and how to ensure you are buying sustainable clothes. Each chapter deals with a different aspect of everyday life where improvements can be made, and contains links to websites, community action groups and apps for you to explore areas further. While the author clearly outlines the seriousness of our situation, the book has a (much needed) hopeful tone.
Of course, many of the suggestions are not free, but where they aren't the author does outline how long it will take for cost savings to come into effect.

One of the main messages I took away from the book was that even doing small things, like taking shorter showers, washing clothes at lower temperatures, or having garden plants that are bee friendly can have a huge collective effect if everyone starts to do them.
We all need to start seriously thinking about how we can make changes to our lifestyle that can ensure there is a future for the next generation, and this book is an excellent way to learn how to make a difference.

I have received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
11 reviews
December 15, 2022
I’ve never been clickbaited by a book.

I wanted to read this book to challenge my view that for the most part, the general public cannot help the environment, that’s up to huge corporations and government, which frankly they’re not doing.

However, when you title a book ‘how to save the world for FREE’ your catchment for readers will be very wide. Granted some suggestions were achievable for free (and could save you money: less meat eating springs to mind). But I did find myself continually thinking that this is a book for the middle and upper classes. The ones who can afford to make these changes, because let’s be honest buying an expensive, sustainably made piece of clothing as opposed to fast fashion is not as easy as the author made it out to be.

Some of the movements are great in principle, but having a quick google does show there’s a saturation of these movements in the south of England, which isn’t the authors fault of course, but just some ecological issues to consider.

I also felt like the main points were made in the first half of the book and the second half was written just to get the word count up. One suggestion that stands out to me is in the ‘save the world when you exercise’ section. It suggests that we should use the energy we expend when we exercise to power our electronics in our homes. Well you’d imagine a reference at least? Or a way of actually doing it. For me this is where the book became frustrating to read.

Overall, the best parts were the bite-size, easily digested facts about society’s contribution to climate breakdown. But this was overshadowed by viewing a lot of these solutions through middle-class tinted glasses.

I hope we can save the world, but I don’t think we can do it for free.

Profile Image for Vivienne.
Author 2 books90 followers
October 20, 2019
My thanks to Laurence King Publishing Ltd for a digital edition via NetGalley of ‘How to Save the World for Free’ by Natalie Fee in exchange for an honest review.

Written by environmental campaigner Natalie Fee, this is a guide on how to make small practical changes in our everyday lives in order to help the environment and save the planet.

It opens with a section on ‘seven things we need to save’ that includes the oceans, rivers, trees, the soil, the air, plants and animals and us. After this she breaks down key areas where we can make changes including food and drink, clothing, finance, travel, to using the bathroom, exercising, relaxing, our intimate lives, voting and getting involved in the wider world.

I found this quite interesting and certainly useful. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems facing the world and helpless to effect change. I felt that she was proposing changes that were both effective and possible to do.

She freely admits that not all her proposed changes are free though many are. It is a positive, uplifting book.

Reading through the various sections I was able to see the areas where I was ticking the boxes as well as where I needed to improve and new areas to implement change in my life.

I feel that it would be a perfect book for families to open up discussions about the environment and to implement changes together.

Overall a practical and educational guide that I happily recommend.

September 21, 2019
This is an amazing, practical guide of how to begin to make changes in your life, small changes that aren’t hard but will make a difference to the planet. It’s hard to know where to start and that’s where this book is so useful, full of practical suggestions, great chapters and subheading for different sections, it’s easy to navigate and even easier to understand. Yes, not all is completely free, but will save you money long term and more importantly could help save the planet. Great practical and moral help.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Profile Image for Mizzah Tocmo.
5 reviews1 follower
January 12, 2022
In summary: easy-to-read and actionable.

This book serves as a great introduction for those who are diving into the environment for the first time. It covers a breadth of topics at a high-level. This is best used as a springboard for any topic that a reader wants to research in depth later. Informative but expect it to be light on the statistics -- Fée only puts what's necessary to paint the picture and help us conceptualize scale/impact.

Hopefully, with the multitude of suggestions provided, readers can be inspired to love our planet!
Profile Image for Maren Hatch.
137 reviews27 followers
July 13, 2021
Good ideas, nothing new if you generally have your hand to the pulse of eco solutions. Still an enjoyable read, might want around for referencing ideas and to have them all in one place instead of just up in my head.
Profile Image for L..
459 reviews
September 19, 2019
This is probably more of a 3.5? I'm unsure what to rate this, especially since there were some parts I agreed with and some parts I really didn't. So, I'm just going to do a list which is the way I normally do my reviews lately:

Things I Didn't Like -

- It was trans-inclusive in the language used to refer to menustration, which is a good thing, but the studies it linked too were women-orientated which felt like it was defeating the point of including trans people in the first place. As a non-binary person myself, I felt excluded from the conversation. I wouldn't have minded so much if there was a point where this was called to attention, like "sorry for the very cis studies I've linked, these were the only ones available" but that wasn't the case
- SUPER ableist. Which is especially annoying, because I can see the author really did try to include us (disabled people), especially when the topic of straws came up. However, for some disabled people, plastic straws are really the only option available to them and there are far more serious issues at hand such as the fishing industry (which was talked about, but that's what is hurting the sea turtles more than straws ever would). The author just kept missing it, so the end result was still ableist.
- It felt like the book was aimed at people who aren't me. People who aren't disabled, or trans, or poor, for example. I don't want to be excluded because I really do want to help but it bothers me that everyone else gets handed this information and I have to alter things to fit me - yay, I'm good at puzzle solving and working things out on my own, but I shouldn't always HAVE to, you know?
- Super white vegan-y. I'm not even against being vegan but, if you know you know.

Things I Did Like -

- It brought up things I hadn't really considered before, even after studying this as part of my diploma. I like that it made me think about these things. Most I had already heard of, but other people would probably not have without having the opportunities that I have had to learn about these things.
- It was split up into beautifully tidy sections and gave you a lot of different options for you to consider to help the planet. I don't even think you need to do every single one of them if you can't, but doing ANY is doing better than you were before
- I like that it gives you a lot of options and it also includes resources you can find online to acquire even more information and, even though this book was abundant in information, it's always nice to be able to find more in your own time and do your own research (plus, it makes me feel smart)

So, would I reccomend this book? Yes. Could this book be improved upon? Also, yes. Ultimately, though, the message of saving the planet is really important and we can all do something to help the situation. Maybe if enough anger develops in individuals, politicians will be pressured to actually do something alongside major industries. We are in a climate crisis, things are urgent and, as always, follow Greta Thurnberg!

* I was given a free copy by NetGalley in exchange for a review, a review on my blog will be available soon *
Profile Image for Alicia Bayer.
Author 7 books190 followers
September 8, 2019
This is a short, helpful book on ways to make a real difference for the world and environment in all different ways, from at play to in politics. There's even a section on how to save the world in the bedroom. While a lot of the tips were standard for me (though not some of the bedroom ones), I've been an environmentalist for a long time and would expect as much.

Fee is cheerful and enthusiastic, and while she gives sobering, saddening and infuriating information throughout the book, the ultimate take-away is that change is really possible and all of us can make a difference.

I especially appreciated the last section, on how to change the world through politics. She gives real examples of ways that groups of people have changed democracy and our corrupt political system, and gives lots of organizations to follow.

My one criticism is that most of the book is along the lines of what some modern environmentalists deem "wreck the world slower" advice compared to action that actually improves the world. If you want more hardcore suggestions, I suggest reading through the forums on permies.com.
Profile Image for Emma Cox.
91 reviews24 followers
September 19, 2019
If you’re looking for a simple book which succinctly sums up the growing problem of climate change and how you can help, this is an excellent book to start with. If you’ve never considered the environmental impact your lifestyle has on the planet, then this book will probably be a real eye opener and will enable you to make lots of small changes which are beneficial to the planet. However, anyone who already makes an effort to minimise the impact their lifestyle choices have on the environment will probably learn nothing new from this book.

One issue I do have with the book is the catchy title For Free, but I think How to save the world and save money would have been a truer title. Many of the lifestyle changes are indeed free. Some require an upfront cost, which will save you money in the long term. However, some suggestions, like opting for organic food or buying organic disposable sanitary pads, are generally more costly.

An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via Net Galley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Em Yarnell.
206 reviews4 followers
October 27, 2019
I really enjoyed this book. I have been learning a lot recently about the environmental impact on plastics, recycling or lack of it. It's both eye opening and fascinating. I always thought I was a fish swimming upstream. I dind't know how to make changes that would truly benefit the world we live in. How could I as one person make an impact. But that's the thing with this book. Its engaging and uplifting. I'm not just one person I am one of many. I already use water bottles that are reuseable and bamboo trtavel mugs for my coffee. Did you know they make espresso sized ones that a re perfect for babyccino's and stop the waste of those tiny little cups that coffee shops give away for free? I switched my coffee for recyceable containers and grounds. I give coffee grounds to family and friends for their allotments.
I have most recently read a few great books about plastics, marine life and how we can help the global issue of recycling and pollution. I have even been looking at truly recyleable brush heads for my oral B toothbrushes as we have 4 of them for the family. It's not easy trying to make a change but the tips and tricks that Natalie shares in this book really are great. I feel that some are easier to implement than others, some we as a family are already doing but others hadn't even occurred to me and there are changes that I will try and make going forward. NOt all of them are complely free, some will cost more, like switching to organic meat whihc isn't affordable to averyone but there are also so many small changes we can make.
This book is user friendly and not at all overwhelming like some books on this subject can be. I read some of it with my girls and talked about the changes we can make. It has made them think about how we are using things and how mindless our shopping can be, the first change they wanted to make was cutting out palm oil (instead choosing chocolate spread from sustainable sources) which for a 7 and 8 year old is pretty huge. The second was the bamboo coffee mugs and reuseable water bottles. We now buy our juice in large containers and split it into their bottles for school lunches instead in buying little cartons. Ideas that were generated by Natalies brilliant book!

I have also read:

Fiona and the Whale by Hannah Lynn

For my girls:

A Planet Full of Pastic by Neal Layton

Wild Tribe Heores series - all by Ellie Jackson
Buddy's Rainforest Rescue
Nelson's Dangerous Dive
Marlie's Tangles Tale
Duffy's Lucky Escape
These are beautifully illlustrated stories based on real events which are told in a postive way to help children understand and learn about the world we live in today.
Profile Image for James Minter.
Author 23 books179 followers
September 16, 2019
Natalie Fee's 'How to Save the World for Free' is essential reading for…well, everyone. Natalie knows all too well, like other environmental campaigners, that sceptics, deniers, and doubters and even the everyday householder who is too busy with life, that the climate emergency is not real for them, and it's just a way large corporates, using fear, uncertainty and doubt, to get people to spend on replacement technology or other stuff that they may not want or need – hence her emphasis on saving the world for free.

People don't like to be on the other end of persuasive arguments as the more evidence they are offered the more likely they are to shut down. To overcome this, Natalie adopts a writing style that is engaging, sufficiently factual to add credence to her statements without being overbearing, and surprisingly humorous given the enormity and urgent nature of the topic under discussion. But it works.

The scope and breadth of this book is impressive. Natalie adopts a no-holds-barred approach to presenting a plethora of truths you may know but choose to deny -"It's nothing to do with me," - or ignore so you can remain blissfully ignorant while living in your corner of Planet Earth where all is fine. From her extensive research, it's quite clear that all is not fine for anyone no matter how wealthy, powerful or privileged they are. We are all in this together; every man, woman, and child living today or to be born in the next 50 plus years.

For me 'How to …' books are my favourite genre as an enormous amount of hard work, diligence and creative thinking are put in by the author so I can reap the benefits. In this case, it's Natalie who has done a great job. The impact, implications and potential of the climate crisis are far-reaching as shown by the inclusiveness of this book from what we eat to how we live, travel and even have sex! Now it’s down to me to adopt her suggestions.

The hard-hitting narrative doesn't leave you feeling hopeless or despairing. Instead, Natalie brings optimism, promise and a future that is inclusive, positive and full of hope provided we take action now. This is a book written from the heart appealing to your heart and a set of values directed at the life-sustaining capacities of the Earth in the pursuit of common goals - love, truthfulness, fairness, freedom, cooperation, and oneness with others, tolerance, and a respect for all life.

I wholly recommend this book for teens, young adults and upwards, including grandparents: in short, everyone.
Profile Image for Jenny.
77 reviews2 followers
July 22, 2019
Ok so where to start? I think this is one of the most important books I've read recently if not at all!

While it first covers which things we need to save (oceans, forests, the atmosphere, rivers, soil, plants & animals and OURSELVES!) it shows solutions all the way. Step by step it inspires to think about how you could change your daily routine to a more eco friendly one. There is a chapter for every part that could need some improvement like "how to save the world while.." you eat, you drink, you travel, etc.

While it gave me the feeling that I'm doing pretty good so far (for example unplugging electronics when not needed, avoid plastic bottles and carry a refillable one instead, take the bike whenever I can, fly less, prefer the train on travels and drive only a small car) it still gave me many points to tackle. While I heard about green banking before I was kinda too lazy to really dig deeper here and change banks and let my money have a better impact on the environment. Also I thought my energy supplier was eco friendly already but after some more research it turned out its only 69% from renewable energy!

The saying that stayed with me most "if you can't reuse it, refuse it!" such a simple thing to consider whenever someone offers you plastic straws or single usage cups for example.

It also suggested a lot of critical documentations about the food and clothes industry for example... I have a super long to watch list right now guys!

So yeah, i really hope this book gets the attention it deserves and if everyone who read it just applies a few of the given solutions I have hope for our wonderful planet!

Thanks netgalley, Laurence King Publishing Ltd. and of course Natalie Fee to give me the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Rachel.
2 reviews
February 4, 2020
The more I reflect on the book I question my opinion on it and the original 4 stars I gave it. It was a good book.

The book was formatted well, easy to read through and process, advice was practical, environmental concepts were well researched and explained clearly. They were mostly easy little things to change, I suppose. I was engaged and some of the advice peaked my interest as it seemed attainable.

It opens with 7 aspects of the environment that are important and we need to save (basically everything), many statistics and disheartening facts to read about. I opened the book in a positive mood eager to learn about easy ways to change my impact on Earth but reading facts that I’ve been bombarded with lately about the damage and destruction that’s taking place and learning new information about the ways the Earth is getting fucked over made it tricky to start this book. Immediately I entered a negative mindset of how the influence comes from big industries and while what I do can improve things there’s still so much that is out of my control that I cannot change for the better. Lee even addresses this in the book but makes a point about how we need to speak up to these companies to tell them that we want change. The advice section was more lighthearted and still contained statistics and facts, but partnered with solutions. Lee keeps an optimistic tone throughout the book but sometimes it’s hard to feel the same way.
Some advice was vague, a lot of the book focused on the UK and US and a few parts in the book require further research to actually implement into your lifestyle. She gives specific names for things/programs that are in the UK but that felt a bit limiting (eg. perhaps guide us to more sustainable brands).
Some suggestion I already knew about but I guess this book is helpful for the people who don’t get targeted by eco-friendly ads on social media.

There were a few ideas I made note of that I’m going to try and implement into my life.
I know I’ve written more negative words than positive ones. It was a good book.
Profile Image for Emily Blackledge.
1 review5 followers
November 8, 2019
What an incredible book! After deciding that I need to become more environmentally conscious I bought How To Save The World For Free, as I follow Natalie Fee on social media and have always enjoyed her approach to tackling environmental issues - she doesn't lecture, she educates in a refreshing and positive style.

How To Save The World is delivered in the style that I would expect from Natalie - fun, friendly, lighthearted and beautifully written but it hits home all the harsh facts. We have made a monumental mess of the planet, but Natalie has given us achievable tips and hints to help to heal it.

This book has actually been quite revolutionary for me and my family. First and foremost, my family and I have decided to eat a more plant based diet. My daughter, husband and I are not eating meat, and our boys are eating a lot less. We've switched to organic milk (delivered by a milkman!), and are buying as as much organic produce as we can. We are making far more effort to recycle everything we can, I've swapped to plastic free 'lady things' (to be more environmenstrual!) and we are buying all our fruit and veg from our lovely local farmshop so avoid all the unnecessary plastic waste.

Everyone should read this book. We all need to take some responsibility for making our planet a better place and this book is the guide to help us do it.
304 reviews1 follower
August 5, 2019
An easy read on a tough topic. At times a little skimmable, but overall I did find this book useful. One thing I liked was that she broke things down into the ocean, soil, air, etc. She mentioned the areas that are in trouble, and then she goes into ways we can make small changes to hopefully make a larger impact. For example, I like how she talks about avoiding Palm Oil. I've been seeing more and more on these huge areas of land are being taken over for the cultivation of this, and they do not help the environment at all. I must admit I do not see myself becoming vegan any time soon, but no reason I can't cut back on the meat intake. Some things I never considered was taking in my own containers to the deli counter. Some things I've never heard of, such as Beeswax wrappers. I have been returning the straws for the past year or so, and many times refuse the plastic bags at the stores. We also refill gallon jugs of water and fill our own water bottles. Easy and actually cheaper. Never thought about how much almond milk is taking from the environment. Didn't realize how much water is redirected just for that. Overall, a lot of good tips and advice, that are actually easy and doable. Handy book, and one I highly recommend.
March 3, 2022
The book did have a lot of good tips, but I agree with a lot of the other reviews when they say it's not really a book about saving the world for FREE. It's more about changing how you spend and even in some cases - investing in new things that lessen your impact. There were some suggestions that were free but it wasn't the vast majority.

It also is very Euro focused and I too wish it had a wider reach. Sometimes it mention the US, by sustainability needs to happen everywhere. I am understanding though that Natalie's expertise is moreso where she lives, works, and runs her nonprofit.

Overall, if you are someone looking to lessen your impact, this is still a good resource with a lot of great suggestions. A lot of the suggestions may cost more (like switching to organic and bulk foods and investing in some Reusable bags, or opting for the bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic) but ultimately some of the other suggestions would then mitigate the cost of some of those other things. Switching to cheaper & cleaner energy programs, joining a community garden and saving money on produce, clothing swaps or thrifting instead of buying new, etc. In a way, it is still for free because the money would balance out. Still a good book and one I'll likely use as a resource from time to time.
Profile Image for Anne Janzer.
Author 6 books124 followers
August 18, 2019
If you feel overwhelmed and distressed by the state of the environment and powerless in the face of global forces, pick up this book. In this upbeat and even entertaining guide, Fee takes a tour of the many decisions we make that have an impact on the environment. You'll find guidance and helpful suggestions regarding on everything from what you wear to what you eat, to how you sleep, have sex, bathe, and entertain yourself.

What I love about this book is its relentlessly positive attitude. Fee insists that making better decisions is not depressing or self-denying, but life affirming. Her focus on the positive is critical. While Fee surveys the current threats to water, temperature, species, and more, she never submits to lecturing or despair. In the introduction, she writes, "If our motivation for saving the world stays rooted in fear, panic or anger, we risk not only arming ourselves but also shutting any windows that may have been open to the winds of change."

It's an empowering book, and I picked up a few new ideas about my own decisions and actions.

I read a prepublication copy from NetGalley.
10 reviews
August 19, 2019
This book includes very necessary and clear explanations of the extent of our environmental issues, and examples of daily choices to improve our personal environmental impact. Beginning with slightly miserable explanations of the current state of the environment, it easily shows the importance of taking action. However it moves on to explore many manageable ways to 'save the world'.
It covers a wide range of lifestyle changes that are environmentally conscious, however I found that as someone who already has a respect for the impact of my daily choices there was very little I learnt from this book. But for anyone who is beginning to rule out environmentally damaging behaviours, it is a good place to start.
I would have liked to explore further how making these small changes are beneficial. The impact of strength in numbers and influence of others decisions was touched on, however making these choices everyday leads us to be consistently aware of environmental impact and more likely to consider it in all decision making.
Overall a good coverage of lifestyle tips and incredibly necessary in the current state of the world.
45 reviews
March 8, 2020
Good intro into ways to live a more sustainable life, although nothing mind-boggling new if you're already trying to be more green, and tips could easily be found through articles or videos online. I found some tips questionable...peeing in a jar for women to avoid the hormones from the pill getting into the ocean is a bit extreme!? Also very UK/US-centric, and catered to a high consumerist lifestyle with access to many of the schemes mentioned.
The biggest shortcoming is probably that many tips aren't really free as they are either more expensive, involve an upfront cost (which, granted, pays off in the long run), or are a substitution for something one is already spending money on. (I am yet to find a free stainless steel bike online...).
I'm guessing ''How to save the world for less money in the long run'' wasn't as catchy a title.
Praise for the graphic design, however, if the text was more condensed it could have cut down on unnecessary pages, and the thick cardboard cover made it difficult to hold. I would suggest getting the e-version or just looking for free truly free tips online.
Profile Image for Nicole Miles.
Author 19 books135 followers
November 5, 2022
I don’t want to slate this book (especially since I have about two more chapters to go) because I don’t think it’s a bad book, but the following will probably sound like that’s what I’m doing…😬
I started this book months ago and was flying through it but came to a point where I started to get 1) bored by it and 2) a little too bothered by inaccuracies. The inaccuracies range from harmless to counterproductive, unscientific and/or potentially harmful. It mostly boils down to the idea that “natural is always good” and “synthetic ingredients are always bad” which is just SO not the case in many many many instances. I would say it’s possibly a good primer, but there are occasionally things that are advised that are not necessarily environmental better (these big topics are complex!) so I’m not sure I’d recommend this one over other slightly more nuanced content? But on the other hand, maybe doing a bunch of generally positive actions with a few unintended negatives is better than doing nothing/only hugely negative actions. There are definitely a few great tips here though! …It just so happens they’re mixed in with not-so-great tips..
Profile Image for Amit Verma.
Author 4 books9 followers
September 5, 2019
Before I start to discuss details, I just want to say that it is a wonderful book.
Book that every teenager should read so that their behaviour is modified for good and we may collectively stem the damage being done to our planet.
Almost all we know we need to act to save planet and ourselves; but few know how late we are already and possibly entering a phase from where things would be irreversible.
Book is simple, enjoyable, crisp and divided into relevant chapters.
You learn that without spending too much money, we can still contribute when we are living our normal lives.
Just a few changes in your daily routines can help all animal and plant species a lot.
Data is presented in simplified way.
At certain instances author has used humour to good effect.
I will certainly like all my friends to read and connect to rebels who can see past capitalism to preserve and possibly rejuvenate our planet.
So that we don't need Mars missions to save us.
Thanks netgalley and publisher for review copy.
Profile Image for Claire Herbaux.
89 reviews6 followers
March 6, 2020
Topical, funny and user-friendly.
Whether you are already trying to be green (beyond recycling correctly that is) or whether this is all new to you, there will be something to learn and take away.
Let's start with a staggering fact though: "In the case of straws, coffee cups, lids and stirrers, we're using a material which lasts forever, to make things we'll use for only a few seconds."
So yes, there is a problem. With plastic and many, many other aspects of our every day life.
While you may not be able to go out and buy a full new wardrobe of bamboo clothing tomorrow (that would not be free AND be wasting the clothes you have already), there are lots of things to take from the book, and many more mental notes to take for the future as well.
From eating (it takes 180 showers' worth of water to make a single pound of beef) to travel, to sex and porn (yes, you read that right), there are things we can change in every aspect of our lives.
The truth about the state of our planet is sad, but you will have some laugh-out-loud moments reading this!
Profile Image for Andrzej.
113 reviews
October 22, 2019
Despite a rather depressive topic this book nicely combines pleasure of reading with effectiveness of learning. It is mainly due to a very approachable "youthful" style and clear content layout. Actually, we start off directly with a conclusion, namely, "Saving the world can be much more fun than you could ever imagine". This puts the whole topic into a completely different frame than in most other publications on this theme.
At the same time, it rises the bar for the author to a pretty high level. Fortunately, for me, extensive expectations are fulfilled almost in 100%. The book is packed with loads of small, middle-sized and huge actions that practically everyone can apply to save our natural environment, so your motivation really gets a boost. And... Yes, it is true that one complete long chapter is about sex life.
A little drawback I found is that the list of "People and Movements to Follow" is not published at author's webpage and the list of references "Downloads & extras" at https://www.laurenceking.com/product/... doesn't contain hyperlinks, but just plain text. And the link to 80000hours.org isn't mentioned anywhere. Overall, I strongly recommend this book simply to everybody.
Profile Image for Alli.
97 reviews
January 22, 2022
1st book of 2021!!! I’m always on the lookout for ways to live more sustainably and what better way to kick off the year than learning how I can make a difference.

How to Save the World for Free by Natalie Fee is your guidebook with tons of small, simple actions that can have a big impact. Some actions do require an investment upfront, but end up saving you money in the long run.

This book does cite some scary numbers when it comes to pollution and global warming. But I’m thankful for the small, simple ideas offered, such as composting, skipping straws or using public transit, that can make a difference.

I’m a big fan of the saying “every little bit counts,” and I truly believe that if we start changing our habits and the products we use in small, sustainable ways, it can lead to big change.
113 reviews
March 21, 2022
This book is well intentioned and offers decent tips, but those tips are not really well argued for individually beyond some climate change fear mongering based on highly controversial green slogans (60 harvests left! Solar for everyone! Cows farts are killing us! Etc) that are driven by neo-liberal green capitalism which doesn't sit well with me. These justifications for her tips aren't necessarily wrong, I just wish this were a deeper text that better acknowledged the nuances of ecocentrism. The whole book is generally very shallow and disappointing. This could be a blog. Like, I'm pretty sure a blog would be better than this book because you could spend more time discussing each tip in detail and fleshing out the rhetoric for each action rather than shooting them out and moving on. It's cute, I guess, but this book is clickbait in a "retro" format.
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