Building a Better World in Your Backyard


Apr 10, 2019 - May 29, 2019

“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 flow 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.”

~ From the Introduction to Building a Better World in Your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop

Building a Better World in Your Backyard takes a look at some of the things that the average person can do, right where they live, to help mitigate world problems, save money, and make their footprint on the planet virtually disappear.

If you would like to learn some really cool stuff about REALLY energy saving, growing gobs of food almost effortlessly, and a house design that solves nearly everything, then this is the book for you.

The book is illustrated with pen and ink drawings designed to explain some concepts, share important information, or amuse and entertain the reader.

Paul and Shawn have launched a Kickstarter campaign to take the book to the printer and get it out into the world. Their hope is that people will make their pledges for the levels of reward that get them a pile of books, and then share those books with people who need to see this information. Spreading the word is what it’s all about.

Kickstarter link:

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.

Before all of that, Paul created hundreds of podcasts, youtube videos, articles, and other bits and bobs about permaculture. That should have been the first sign, right there, that health professionals should have stopped all this. That, or his 26,000 forum posts at And he has at least that many at his other site, Oh, yeah, he used to be a software engineer before all this permaculture stuff.

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. It was then that he stumbled upon and fell in love with permaculture as a way to use his design skills to work with nature rather than against nature. Shawn was preparing to start his own homestead when he was faced with serious health challenges that prevented him from doing any physical work. It was during this time that the opportunity to work on this book came up. Shawn jumped on it, wanting to do whatever he could to share these ideas with others.

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