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The Better World Handbook: Small Changes That Make A Big Difference Paperback – February 1, 2007


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The Better World Handbook: Small Changes That Make A Big Difference + The Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Makes a Difference (Better World Shopping Guide: Every Dollar Can Make a Difference) + Through the Eye of Katrina: Social Justice in the United States
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (February 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715752
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #504,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellis Jones has been teaching students to make a difference in the world for the past 15 years. A scholar of social responsibility, social change and everyday activism, he founded and directs the Better World Network, giving presentations throughout the US. He currently teaches sociology at University of California, Davis. Brett Johnson has been a dedicated member of the environmental and simple living movements for years. He coordinates his apartment complex's composting program, leads voluntary simplicity workshops, and is currently researching the voluntary simplicity movement in the U.S. Brett is currently teaching sociology at Luther College in Iowa. Brett Johnson has been a dedicated member of the environmental and simple living movements for years. He coordinates his apartment complex's composting program, leads voluntary simplicity workshops, and is currently researching the voluntary simplicity movement in the U.S. Brett is currently teaching sociology at Luther College in Iowa.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
This is a great reference guide to help us ordinary folks be responsible consumers.
J. Leng
He spent a tremendous amount of time working on this book as a way of motivating people to make a better world.
Erik Bateson
As required reading for a sociology course at my college, this book seemed to be promising a lot.
Celia Knieff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
Written by sociology instructors Ellis Jones Ph.D., Ross Haenfler Ph.D. and Brett Johnson Ph.D., The Better World Handbook: Small Changes That Make A Big Difference is a guide for ordinary people to taking steps in their lives that help contribute to big changes for the better worldwide. Chapters cover how to make a difference by choosing the right bank, buying groceries that minimize negative environmental impact, building strong relationships among friends and family, fostering a socially responsible workplace, voting and getting involved in politics, using alternative forms of transportation and reducing driving to use as little gasoline as reasonably possible, how to get involved in an organization espousing a cause one cares about, and much more. Handy quick-reference icons, numerous online resources, extensive notes, a helpful checklist, and an index round out this one-of-a-kind guide to not only improving oneself, but also improving the world at large. Highly recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Luther84 on May 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've owned the previous version of this book for over 3 years now and have been eagerly anticipating this new version. This handy guide is inspiring and amazingly practical at the same time. These experts have done the leg work to find out what normal people can do in every aspect of their lives to make a better world. If you are wondering how you can better live out your values in the way you work, spend time with family, care for the environment, involve yoursesf in politics and community, shop, and much more, this book is a must have.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Victor M. Campos Jr. on May 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Many of us feel we want to improve the world.

But it's difficult to know where to begin, or how our actions can make a difference. The Better World Handbook is an excellent first step to a better life, and a better world.

Broken up into chapters as diverse as Relationships, Body Care, and Finance, this book will help you change your outlook on life. It will feed your soul, and help the Earth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J.W.K on April 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Most of us want to do what is right but lack the proper information to realize our deepest values in action. We want to save the rainforest, purchase products that are ecologically sound, end war, famine, and every other ill that plagues humanity. However, we lack a clear understanding of how our everyday actions shape the world. This highly informative book will help you express your values in action.

The "challenges" this book outlines include: economic inequality, Third World debt, corporate sweatshops, war, militarization, the death penalty, media violence, natural resource depletion, air pollution and climate change, ecosystem destruction, overpopulation, lack of democracy, money in politics, media monopoly, inequality of women, racism, heterosexism, inadequate hHealth care, prisons, advertising overload, commercialization of childhood, materialism and overconsumption, fragmented communities, and finally a certain loss of our humanity.

Not to worry, though, there is no reason for cynicism. The authors are young, vibrant, and optimistic about social change. The is no pessimist's rant. In fact, section one, "the cycle of cynicism," actually deals this problem head on, offering many hopeful alternatives.

The rest of the book is action-oriented. Included are hundreds of small things we can implement in our everyday life: including pracical advice on banking and investing, shopping, food, personal lifestyle choices, friends and family, community, home, work, media, politics, travel, and involvement with organizations.

The variety and quality of the recommendations show extreme breadth of research and awareness on the part of the authors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Leng on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great reference guide to help us ordinary folks be responsible consumers. The research has been done for us, now all we have to do is use it. Another reviewer called this book stupid, but I very much disagree. Little changes, big changes -- they are all working toward a healthy goal. Buy this book and share it with friends!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erik Bateson on October 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to take an introductory sociology course from Dr. Jones at UC Davis. He is an extremely intelligent and charismatic figure who I really feel is a decent guy. He was a warm and friendly presence, clearly brilliant but never condescending. He spent a tremendous amount of time working on this book as a way of motivating people to make a better world. As we studied in the class, most of us want to help this world, but we have a lack of knowing how to do so. This book outlines, through careful research, the steps to take to make this world a better place. A very important book. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KW Wright on January 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a small but very useful guide to choosing brands that are better stewards of our world. It is a quick and easy way to know how a company feels about the world and can help you make valid decisions when purchasing products. It is a national book that does contain some regional brands however in general it will only give you information for the very large companies. It could not be any simpler to use and is easily portable. My wife and I gave copies to our friends and family for the holidays a few years ago.
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