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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(1 star).Show all reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2015
It is a good book if you like these type. I had to buy it for a Biology class and it was good enough for what I needed to read it for.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2013
I thought this was a new book. It is espousing a lot of decade old rhetoric. Had a few good ideas, but mostly just foolish ideas about how to localize manufacturing and recycling.
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1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2011
This book is repetitive and offers short stories for facts. It does not disclose on how to improve our society.In all this book needs to be revised.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
I am surprised that this book is so popular. I found it to be full of criticisms, criticisms and more criticisms of our current practices but with few solutions other than broad, nonspecific suggestions. I had hoped for insights into positive things that can be done to be more ecoconscious but found almost none.
They sugggest
1-redesigning products so they can be recycled into good quality materials that can be used again
2-redesigning packaging so it can be biodegradable
To disagree with these motherhood-types of suggestions would be like disagreeing that childen should be fed or we should't pollute rivers until all life is dead in them. I would love to have heard how their suggestions could be implemented or followed, and what products or practices we can use would support these solutions. I see simple things being done all around me that are ecoconscious and would love to have learned from their experiences and insights about things I could do more ecoconscious. What's new, what can we do, which of our ideas need rethinking, what little things can we do that would make a difference...
They suggest we make books out of materials that are recyclable (but acknowledge this technology doesn't exsit yet), plant green roofs to reduce the deluge of runoff that often overwhlems storm sewers (and in our area this sends untreated sewage into the ocean), plant plants for bioremediation, make a carpet where the backing detaches from a recyclable top, consider toxic chemicals in clothes and materials consumer products are made form.... Great ideas, but I don't know how I can do these things. Maybe websites or references could have been given with information on how to implement ecoconscious practices?
I've never written a book reveiw, but this book actually made me mad enough to do it because the authors write from such a smugly superior and holier-than-thou position. There are many people who want to bring about positive change and would love to make choices to be more eco-conscious, but the book doesn't suggest any real actions we can take in our every day living to do this. How disappointing because they are clearly committed to and involved in their field. This book was highly disappointing to me. (PS- they even criticize ecoconscious as a term; ecoeffectiveness is better they say.:-)
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2010
I bought this book for a book club and I read some of it. It is a very heavy book as the pages are not made of paper but a recycled waterproof material. That is the coolest thing about this book. I found it redundant, boring and the point can be summed up in 2 sentences. I do not recommend.
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14 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2008
The only pleasant thing I found about this book: I didn't pay for it. As a concerned but casual environmentalist, I borrowed this one from the library and am very glad I did. I was expecting a landmark book about upcycling and the methodology by which industry might design products that can be fully (and endlessly) recycled into other things. In truth, this IS the premise of the book. But I found the authors completely unconvincing. I could never get past their hollow argument that this book -- which is made of plastic, bears no recycling symbol, and will last longer than humankind -- is somehow an achievement of technology. One author is a chemist who seems to believe that the earth needs more polymers, not less. This is absurd. It's honestly hard to read a plastic book (it's really heavy and has smooth, waterproof pages) and feel good about any environmental argument contained inside. Instead, I felt like these guys would try any gimmick to sell a book. Please .... save your money and the environment; if you really must read this book, contact your local public library. (Try inter-library loan if your local branch doesn't have a copy; it's easy, free, and environmentally friendly!)
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7 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2008
Apparently corporations are all going green. Even Ford will become perfectly sustainable. Now they abuse their employees & produce thousands of fossil-fuel-burning cars out of a "green" facility built with materials extracted from where, a green, sustainable mining operation?

This book has some good points & quotes, but in the end it's another propaganda piece for greenwashing corporations.
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24 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2008
I SINCERELY regret to say I couldn't have disliked this book more. The chapter on food -which discussed fabric and carpets more than calories- was particularly disappointing. If a sustainability expert cannot or will not admit that a meat based diet is the single most ecologically devastating habit of US citizens, how can one take them seriously? Eliminating animal proteins from one's diet is more ecologically beneficial to the planet than driving a hybrid or any other combination of factors but this book pandered to comfort minded consumers who wish to believe they can spend their way into sustainability by buying reusable grocery bags or "organic" products. Not that it doesn't help but true sustainability is about conserving, not spending. Sustainability requires painful changes; it's not something you can push off to the government to regulate or boycott businesses to comply; it starts with YOU. I doubt this book would have been as popular had it dared discomfit the average person by speaking the truth.

Lastly, I found the whole discussion of the book material selection to be ridiculous. Why would the authors believe their book is so wonderful that it should have the durability to out last all life forms? After we're gone, you'll find it in landfills next to the pampers. Worse though is the energy load. Aside from the other egregious fallacious presumptions about the text's ecological burden, it weighs three times what a normal book does. I am aghast at how the authors managed to justify the expenditure of the greater requirement of fossil fuels to pack and ship this book around.

I must admit the book changed me, raising the bar of my expectations. Henceforth if someone starts waxing eloquent about their commitments to sustainability, my first question is going to be, "are you a vegetarian"? Anything they say will be filtered through that sieve.
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10 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2007
My boss gave this to me to read as suggested reading as I am a Product Manager. It is the only reason I read this book.

These guys are living in la la land. It's like socialism, sounds good on paper striving for the perfect utopia but in reality just falls all apart under its own weight. Case in point; the book describes how Chicago is a participating green city. I work in the loop and the only building worth mentioning that has the dirt and flowers on the roof is city hall. The authors are so obvoiusly NOT from Chicago because they mention that windmills should be used more often and Chicago would be a good place because it is the "WIndy City". If you live in Chicago you know the nick name comes from the 1860's political conventions and all of their hot air, both Democrat and Republican.

Another example of la la land thinking is when they suggest factories be built with a forest on the north side to protect the wind and use sun lights to light the interiors of buildings. Will the government help owners pay the extra cost of buying larger land plots so that we can plant that forest in the north side? Didn't think so.

Thank my lucky stars that the book is made out of plastic and has thick pages so that it only took me a few hours to read it.
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25 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2006
Any valid points that McDonough and Braungart were trying to make in their novel were lost among two hundred pages supporting the authors' respective ecological agendas. The authors made no attempt to appeal to readers that may have differing attitudes toward their radical recycling proposals and eco-friendly designs. The authors would have been far more successful in reaching a broader audience had they taken a drastically different approach to the novel and its topics.

The novel provides the reader with a perspective on the changes in ecological policies over time however what the authors failed to derive from their study of environmental practices is that changes are generally made gradually, and that new policies, even if created in one day, can not be adopted all at once. The authors put down the ideas of making current industries and production processes "less bad" claiming that instead these processes should be completely re-vamped.

In theory, the authors have a point. Our goal should be to design processes and products that create more energy than they use. The authors slam our current recycling policies and many industries with scathing criticism. The authors need the cooperation of the people that they criticize the most. Without the support of the engineers and industry workers, many of the authors' ideas will never be realized: don't they know not to bite the hand that feeds them?

I agree that products should be designed with their ultimate disposal in mind, however the authors do not provide concrete examples or facts to support many of their claims and ideas. For example, the novel would have been more effective had the authors included economic analyses of current practices compared to one of their proposed ideas. The authors fail to include many substantial examples of putting their eco-friendly ideas into practice, thus weakening every argument in the novel.

The authors constantly remind readers about the ant. There are many different species of ants, and many different types of people. Ants can work in groups, or alone, just like humans. Ants too, wage war. But ants do not walk on the moon, perform surgeries, develop life saving medicine, drive, sustain lifelong friendships, and create music, art or literature. And humans do not lie out in the sun to store energy to bring back to their homes to use for heat, as do ants. In fact, ants are not the decision makers who can put the authors' ideas into practice, therefore, it would have been wise for the authors to spend less time praising the ants for their eco-friendly ways of life, and spend a little more time acknowledging that our current recycling practices are making a difference. I know that changes still need to be made, but the authors make our current efforts out to be more damaging than helpful, leaving the reader with a bitter attitude about recycling and the future of our world's ecological health.
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