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Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business Paperback – February 18, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business
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  • Outsmart Waste: The Modern Idea of Garbage and How to Think Our Way Out of It
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“TerraCycle is doing more than selling good green products; it is changing how manufacturers, retailers, and consumers treat their waste. Read this book. I’m glad I did.”
—Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

About the Author

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. His practice has included starting and running ecological businesses, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 189 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (February 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591842506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591842507
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,067,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Bearce on April 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an interesting book and in many ways Mr. Szaky's mission is an inspiring one. That said, the book itself is light on content and heavy on irrelevant details. I think it would be enough if we all agreed that Tom Szaky is a really cool cat and then that was the end of it, freeing him up to deal with the real issues that are at stake here. Instead, be prepared to have your nose rubbed in it for the duration of the read.

Mr. Szaky's business model is an interesting one and he should be commended for what he has accomplished. One does wonder, however, if he is simply offering a cheap get-out-of-jail-free card to industries whose behaviors could and should be aggressively regulated by the state.

The cover of the book is cleverly designed to be folded and taped into a mail-in envelop that the reader can use to send his own collection of detritus to Mr. Szaky to be upcycled into a prom dress or a napsack or whatever. Unfortunately, the publisher saw fit to make sure that the book was supplied with two covers so that the reader could participate in the revolution without defacing the book itself, thus duplicating the environmental impact of this particular book cover and nullifying the underlying argument. This might be an appropriate metaphor for much of the environmental movement in the U.S. today--easy choices that look good and feel good but that don't, in the end, make a very significant dent in the underlying problem. Hopefully Tetracycle does better than this in their other business practices.
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I love this book. it's about the power of a really positive attitude, perseverance, hard work and a sense of humor. It 's about the value of a young person who got an idea and would not let go. You could say Tom is, "willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause"! and the fact that the heavenly cause is worm poop and saving the environment makes it no less important to him . As a result he has people working for him for nothing much of the time. God, I wish I had been there I would have taken up the pooper scooper and follow as well. It was said best in the movie BABE... "Little ideas that tickle and nag should not be ignored, for there in lie the seeds of greatness." and for the seeds of greatness to grow,,, what is better than the best fertilizer?
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We all can change the world if we read this book. It shows you the power of an idea and the persistence and resilience needed to build and grow a company!
And it also show us that we all have the power to be more sustainable.
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This book was written well and with some humor. It made me aware of the necessity to recycle. I was impressed to know that young people are concerned about this matter of recycling and are trying to do something about it. I admire his fortitude to pursue a business venture and wish him the best.
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Format: Paperback
I read Revolution in a Bottle in one-sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are a number of other books written by young entrepreneurs, and characteristics that make this one unique are:

1. Tom's company truly has the potential to redefine what a consumer product is and its impact on the environment.

2. Tom's story is an example that successful companies aren't built overnight. Tom spent years of his life ardently focusing on the growth of the company and seeing it through times of near-bankruptcy. This book really gives a clear picture of what it takes to start and grow a company.

3. Tom's story is very entertaining. From gun shots into his house, near bankruptcy, coming up with his business idea from a marijuana plant, etc., this book is definitely a page-turner.
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Not since John A. Roebling made steel cables for the Brooklyn Bridge has Trenton, NJ fulfilled its motto: "Trenton Makes, The World Takes"... That is, until now.

Enter Tom Szaky and his recently formed, rocking fantastic eco-products company, TerraCycle, charmingly chronicled in "Revolution In A Bottle--How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business." In 2002 as a drop-out from Princeton Szaky formed TerraCycle to make a liquid plant food derived from organic liquid waste and packaged in reclaimed plastic bottles. Now TerraCycle innovates dozens of new products each year: vinyl LP wall clocks, milk-jug flower pots, wine-barrel composters, juice-pouch pencil bags, food-wrapper shower curtains--all made from waste, all marketed through major big box channels like WalMart, Kroegers, and Home Depot, all making practical sense as alternatives for materialism's detritus otherwise headed for landfills. Nearly 100 years after Roebling spun the steel cables that turned Trenton into an industrial powerhouse, Szaky seeks nothing less from his own Trenton base to turn the world to a new era of green business.

He might just succeed. I had the pleasure to serve as TerraCycle's first chairman. In avuncular roles as cheerleader, coach and curmudgeon, I was a first-hand witness to Szaky's uniquely captivating blend of creativity, chaos, charisma and commitment. This talented young business leader, more comfortable in T shirt and backward baseball cap, packs more savvy and sense than men in suits twenty years older. From shoveling you-know-what (literally) to rigging bottling machines to dumpster-diving for cast-off furniture to designing products to winning orders from WalMart, he does it all with a merry, impish charm that is infectious.
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