Summary From the Introduction,
"For nearly every global problem, there are solutions we can implement in our backyard that also save us money and help us live more luxuriant lives. A few of us do these things and bask in the glow of the opulence and extra cash. Others observe and think “I want extra luxury and money too! Not fair!” and then they emulate. And on and on it goes. Then the global problems sorta just dry up and blow away. That’s what this book is all about.
I think the reason we see so many people angry is because they authentically care. But they seem to get stuck at being angry. Some people spend a hundred hours a week for 20 years being angry and not much changes. But I think that if you spend a tiny fraction of that time doing the things mentioned in this book, your global positive impact will be a thousand times greater. ."
About the Authors "Paul Wheaton is a giant doofus who is bonkers about permaculture. He won’t shut up about permaculture. On and on, every day . . . it’s annoying. He has gone so far as to make a 3-DVD set that is just about the earthworks for permaculture gardening. And not only did he make a 4-DVD set about rocket mass heaters, but he made ANOTHER 4-DVD set about rocket mass heaters. Why on earth do people need 8 DVDs about something so simple? If you think that is ridiculous, take a look at his 177 hours of video of a full Permaculture Design Course, and Appropriate Technology course. Then there’s the cards. Okay, the permaculture playing cards are pretty cool...
Shawn Klassen-Koop’s passion for building a better world grew from many years of working at a summer camp. This time inspired awe and wonder for the natural world through many hours camping in the woods, paddling on a lake, or sleeping under the stars. Seeking to solve world problems with clever thinking, Shawn decided to pursue computer engineering as a career, where he learned the importance of good design and strong critical thinking. In time he felt like modern technology was causing more problems than it was solving and started looking for a better way. "
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 CSI” and “it's not like the tree will run away while you are chasing it with a chainsaw.”
Parts of the book assume you have land. Even in those parts I learned something like “carrot poop” (exudates) and the “volunteer tomato” vs the “pampered tomato.” Other parts of the book apply to everyone including shampoo. It was also nice seeing diatomaceous earth covered in the book (this was the answer to a question a close family member had years ago).
Most of the book was easy to read. There were some parts that were hard because I can’t relate. And the vocabulary is tougher. For example, I know what a berm is but I still need to think about it. That’s said, I was able to follow all the parts which I wasn’t expecting going in. The parts that apply to everyone were easy to follow.
I also like how the book is meant to be passed around rather than kept forever. My copy is signed so I'm keeping that one. But Paul/Shawn sent me more copies. I was sure to donate a copy to the local library. Best way I can think of to pass a book around.
This book is full of ideas for cutting one's carbon footprint and saving money, and they're not the ones many of us have heard of before. They range from growing food (the most important suggestion) to community living, to heating more efficiently by heating the person not the place, to drying cloths on a clothesline, avoiding expensive and toxic cleaning products, and a whole lot more! They're ways to save the word without having to battle the bad guys--we just starve them of their money and have a more awesome life in the process.
Paul and Shawn use the word "luxuriant" a lot. This isn't the kind of luxuriant that's had at other's expense, but rather just having a easier, more enjoyable life. I really appreciate the suggestions in this book--they're inspiring and there's something in this book that all of us can do right now, even if we can't do it all. Every little bit helps!