1st Edition

The 'One Planet' Life A Blueprint for Low Impact Development

By David Thorpe Copyright 2015
    476 Pages 400 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    476 Pages 400 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The One Planet Life demonstrates a path for everyone towards a way of life in which we don’t act as if we had more than one planet Earth. The difference between this approach and others is that it uses ecological footprint analysis to help to determine how effective our efforts are. Much of the book is a manual – with examples – on how to live the 'good life' and supply over 65% of your livelihood from your land with mostly positive impacts upon the environment.

    It examines the pioneering Welsh policy, One Planet Development, then considers efforts towards one planet living in urban areas. After a foreword by BioRegional/One Planet Living co-founder Pooran Desai and an introduction by former Welsh environment minister Jane Davidson, the book contains:

    • An essay arguing that our attitude to planning, land and development needs to change to enable truly sustainable development.
    • Guidelines on finding land, finance, and creating a personal plan for one planet living.
    • Detailed guides on: sustainable building, supplying your own food, generating renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions from travel, land management, water supply and waste treatment.
    • 20 exemplary examples at all scales – from micro-businesses to suburbs – followed by Jane Davidson’s Afterword. 

    The book will interest anyone seeking to find out how a sustainable lifestyle can be achieved. It is also key reading for rural and built environment practitioners and policy makers keen to support low impact initiatives, and for students studying aspects of planning, geography, governance, sustainability and renewable energy.

    Foreword by Pooran Desai  Foreword by Jane Davidson  Part One: A Call for Change  1. We have only one planet  Part Two: Steps Towards the One Planet Life  2. Finding Land, Finding Finance, Gaining Skills  3. Crafting a Management Plan  Part Three: Practical Guidance  4. Land Management  5. Water  6. Energy  7. Building  8. Food  9. Transport  Part Four: Exemplary Examples  10.1 Hockerton Housing Project  10.2 The lessons of BedZED  10.3 The Triangle, Swindon  10.4 Rachel Shiamh’s frameless straw bale home  10.5 Lammas  10.6 Hoppi Wimbush: Growing flowers to sell  10.7 Hoppi and Paul Wimbush: Dairy farming  10.8 Cornerwood: Coppicing as a business  10.9 Cornerwood: Shiitake production  10.10 The Ecological Land Co-operative  10.11 John Hargreaves: top fruit grower  10.12 Phil Corbett: Edible wild flowers and nitrogen-fixing clovers  10.13 Nant y Cwm farm: livestock management  10.14 Jay Andrews: Wetland Ecosystem Treatment  10.15 A modular studio  10.16 Ty Solar  10.17 Calon Cymru  10.18 One Planet City – Brighton and Hove  10.19 One planet living in Freiburg, Germany  10.20 The road ahead to real sustainability  Afterword by Jane Davidson


    David Thorpe is a writer and consultant on sustainability issues. He is a Special Consultant on Sustainable Cities Collective, the primary website for urban leaders globally; a founder and core group member of the One Planet Council; and the author of several books on sustainability, including: Energy Management in Buildings, Energy Management in Industry, Solar Technology and Sustainable Home Refurbishment, all in The Earthscan Expert Guide series. Prior to this he was the News Editor and Opinion Writer of the UK's Energy and Environmental Management magazine for 13 years. Before that he was director of publications at the Centre for Alternative Technology. For more information, see his website: www.davidthorpe.info.

    "David Thorpe’s new book is a timely reminder that we have only one planet to live on – and that this fact needs to be reflected how we live, and everything we do. But as well as making the irrefutable case for ‘one planet living’, it provides a wealth of practical detail on how to actually do it, and this is surely where the book’s greatest value lies for a new generation of one planet pioneers determined to lead the transition to new ways of living, that tread lightly upon the Earth and sustain her natural riches." – Oliver Tickell, editor, The Ecologist magazine and author of Kyoto2: How to Manage the Global Greenhouse.

    "David Thorpe outlines, in fastidious detail, the journey to a new life that is not only lower impact, but is also delightful and fun – and he is quite prepared to fully address the multiple bureaucratic and technical challenges and along the way. This book is an excellent and immensely practical step by step guide, illustrated with copious examples, for everyone ready to make that change." – George Marshall, founder of the Climate Outreach Information Network and author of Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.

    "Over the last 30 years economists have had to reassess how improvements to human welfare are measured. Unfettered growth in household demands causes local and global problems. Measures such as the ecological footprint seek to assess the ‘planet’ consequences of our consumption activities. Practically what it means to live a ‘one-planet’ lifestyle is rarely considered in terms of the benefits and challenges, and this book is therefore a welcome reckoning. A key theme is the fact that maximising consumption activity should not be confused with maximising human welfare." - Professor Max Munday, Director of the Welsh Economy Research Unit, Cardiff Business School.

    "The book is a rich source of information on land acquisition, planning, finance, sustainable building techniques, food self-reliance, renewable energy technologies, zero-carbon transportation, water efficiency and waste treatment. It is, above all else, a ‘how-to’ book with a strong emphasis on the choices that we all need to make to bring our lifestyles in line with the ability of life on earth to continue." - Herbert Girardet

    "Rating: 5 out of 5. A very well written book that covers every conceivable aspect. Should be in the armory and on the bookshelves of those of us who work on the creation of a new society. What we need are one planet living communities and individual developments, and not just in the countryside. This book, I am sure, can help all of those of us who are working on creating such changes in the minds of planners and government." – Michael Smith, Green (Living) Review (incorporating The HOMESTEADER, Forestry Review, Ethical Living Review, Parks & Open Spaces, and Allotment Garden & Smallholding Review)