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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 23 June 2006
A brilliant book with a lot more information than the TV programme. It's a nice change to have a book about a family wanting to live an environmentally aware life, rather than a eco-warriors telling us to go live in a teepee. Although many of the things they have done with their house are not possible for many of us, it gives good links and advice on how to alter your life without losing the comforts of 21st century. Strawbridge covers many issues around questioning how we live our lives when it comes to energy and food without jumping to traditional hippie view points.

Not only does it give good advice, he and his family came across as a decent bunch and this comes through as it's very easy to read and use for reference. I even managed to understand the engineering side of things.

The only fault with the book is that it could have been proof read a little better as there are a few typos, but that doesn't matter when you get to see photos of that amazing moustache.
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on 8 December 2006
I expected a book with loads of practical hints and tips to get me started on a similar path, but it isn't that at all. It's really a more permanent record of the Strawbridge family's own experience and as such is accurate and evokes the feeling of the programme. There are web addresses, etc. and I've bought stuff from some of them; I also found some inspiration to become more 'green' through reading it, but I do think it should have been made clear, when the book was touted at the end of the programmes, that it wasn't meant to be a practical manual. Nevertheless it is an enjoyable and inspiring read, even though most of us could never do things on the same scale...
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on 1 August 2006
I think some of the reviewers have missed the point, don't think this book is supposed to be a technical manual there's plenty of those elsewhere. It's more a thought provoking set of ideas to get you going. Combined with the show it's certainly changed a lot of my thoughts and made me actually get up and install a rainwater harvesting system, start to grow some of my own veg in pots and growbags on a deck together with recyling nearly all my rubbish! so it worked for me!

It's a great read and written by a real family, highly recommended!
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on 11 April 2006
Just like the TV series, the Strawbridge family make being semi-self-sufficient and green all look such good fun in this book.
The book is a light-hearted read, not a boring text book, and covers a lot of subjects in a very practical manner. It is illustrated with plenty of high-quality photos and some fun sketched diagrams. There's a useful list of resources at the back for those wanting more detailed information.
Just like John Seymour's books, reading this will get you seriously planning your move to somewhere with a few acres and a stream for that water wheel.
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on 18 May 2006
Like the TV series on which it's based, this book favours quips and smug self-satisfaction over an in-depth look at the potentially fascinating projects that the family Strawbridge undertook.

99% of us aren't going to be able to build our own water-wheels or put a large wind-turbine in our back garden. Nevertheless it would have been interesting to get an in-depth look at precisely how to do this and how much power you can generate for the environmental costs (such as your concrete footing etc.) Some proper analysis of the viability and environmental impact of various projects would have been nice. All in all, a missed opportunity.
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on 8 May 2006
This book is a great addition to the TV series and also a fantastic resource of links and phone numbers for various companies that can help us become more green.

It's also an easy read that gives everybody the information to start living a greener life wherever and however they choose to lead that life. And what's really good about it is it can be read independantly of the series making it a great book to own on the subject long after the series is finished.
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on 1 May 2006
I could not put this book down. It is written in the same tones that he talks and it makes very enjoyable reading. It is more that 'food for thought', it is something that everyone needs to read and digest. Not only has the book got the details that we all want(and not being too stuffy) but it also lists the costs of the projects and the contact details. I am glad i bought the book and you will too!!
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on 25 May 2014
I liked the concept of what the Strawbridge's were doing as they started their new 'eco' life in Cornwall. They are doing far more than most. However,some of the 'green' ideas made me cringe a bit. like pouring cosmetics down the loo to dispose of them because they didn't want to use chemical laden products on their skin!! hardly green with that one!
otherwise, fairly interesting and an easy read, finished it in two sittings.
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on 11 July 2016
Interesting, easy to read, "human" in the expectations and results of this journey, I really enjoyed this book. Easy style of writing, will not disturb your sleep, and will provoke you to try a little harder....lots of resource info and gems. Nice book. Thankyou
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on 13 June 2006
Like other reviewers I was disappointed in this book. OK, the TV series was lightweight entertainment, including Dick Strawbridge's continual mugging to the camera, but I expected the book to have more substance. Even the references at the end are highly selective and one or two seem to damn with faint praise. The photography, while quite artistic, didn't add any real value either. This was a major opportunity to open up pointers to an ecologically better lifestyle and it sadly failed. I think the family have the passion to have delivered much more - their website and discussion forum show willing - but it all comes across as a project with one eye very much on the money they might make. Perhaps a second TV series might produce a better book. I hope so.
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