Show cover of The Building a Better World Podcast

The Building a Better World Podcast

Join Shawn Klassen-Koop, co-author of "Building a Better World in Your Backyard - Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys", for short episodes introducing ideas you can use to make a huge, positive, global difference from your own home! Prioritize comfort over sacrifice while saving thousands of dollars!


Episode 03: The Most Effective Way to Make Your Voice Heard
The most effective way to make your voice heard is not writing letters, signing petitions, or going to a protest. It's making the right choices each and every day. Angry about the impacts of fracking? Vote with your wallet. Want a food system that heals the planet instead of destroying it? Vote with your wallet. […]
11:08 2/17/20
Episode 01: Introduction to Building a Better World in Your Backyard
The world's problems are massive and overwhelming. Fortunately, for nearly every global problem there are solutions we can implement in our backyard that, at the same time, save us money and help provide more luxuriant lives. In this introductory episode, Shawn Klassen-Koop discusses his preferred approaches to solving the world's problems from his book "Building […]
11:15 2/17/20
Episode 02: The Biggest Environmental Problems… and Some Solutions
The list of global problems is huge. But a lot of them are related. This episode covers 5 problems that are holding us back from living a happy, healthy, life on a sustainable planet. And since Shawn doesn't enjoy talking about the problems, he'll also start introducing some solutions for each of them. The five […]
15:39 2/17/20
Episode 04: A Tool for Helping Us Understand the Eco Journey
Having conversations with others about environmentalism can be extremely frustrating – even with other environmentalists. It's important to remember that life is a journey, and different people are at different places on their journey. And the things they want to talk about where they are on their journey might be much different from what we […]
10:43 2/19/20
Episode 05: How to Drastically Reduce Your Home Heating Bill
Most of us heat our homes by heating all of the air in the whole house and then blowing it around in the hopes that it will eventually heat some people. Why not just heat the people instead? By focusing on heating the person instead of heating the space, it is possible to save up […]
11:41 2/21/20
Episode 06: Super-Efficient Sustainable Wood Heat
In a cold climate, heat is almost 2/3 of home energy use. Rocket mass heaters are super efficient wood-fired heaters that are pretty much smokeless and use one tenth of the wood of a conventional wood stove. They can be built for as little as a few hundred dollars and a weekend's worth of time. […]
12:54 2/24/20
Episode 07: Eliminating Household Toxic Gick
People are getting sick at an alarming rate. The list of factors is immense, but there are things we can do at home to reduce our exposure to toxins that will also save us money at the same time. This episode shares strategies for home care that use cleaners that are so healthy, you can […]
15:29 2/26/20
Episode 08: A Big Solution That Is Hard to Get Right
Living in community is one of the biggest solutions for solving our environmental problems. Unfortunately, it is also really hard to do in a way where people actually want to do it. Oftentimes discussions on community assume that people are going to be noble. It's important to plan for a community that recognizes that people […]
12:59 2/28/20
Episode 09: Vegan vs. Omnivore vs. Junk Food
The food we eat has a massive impact on our health and our planet. Conventional methods of raising animals are terrible for everything involved, but eating food grown in a way that mimics nature can drastically reduce our footprints and help us live happier, healthier lives. In doing so, we can also restore ecosystem diversity […]
16:36 3/2/20
Episode 10: The Value of Growing Your Own Food
A huge portion of our world's footprints come from the food we eat, not only because of the destructive methods of conventional agriculture, but also because of all of the many other industries that are attached to it. Growing our own food in a way that works with nature rather than against nature can dramatically […]
10:58 3/4/20
Episode 11: Transplanting? That’s Unnecessary Work!
This is the first in a series of episodes about strategies for growing double the food with one tenth of the effort. Most gardeners spend a lot of time starting their plants indoors in the spring and babying them until they are ready to go in the ground. But nature doesn't really do transplants. By […]
10:15 3/6/20
Episode 12: Prepping the Soil to Not Need Prepping
This is the second in a series of episodes about strategies for growing double the food with one tenth of the effort. Tilling can be a lot of work. And while the short-term benefits can be excellent, the long-term consequences are huge. Every time you till, you lose 30% of the organic matter in the […]
10:07 3/9/20
Episode 13: The Many Values of Trees
This is the third in a series of episodes about strategies for growing double the food with one tenth of the effort. Growing more trees is one of the best things we can do for the environment. They stabilize soil, increase moisture, provide shelter, deliver free mulch, sequester carbon, and much more! In addition, there […]
11:20 3/11/20
Episode 14: Two Strategies for Reducing Irrigation and Building Soil
This is the fourth in a series of episodes about strategies for growing double the food with one tenth of the effort. This episode shares two strategies for building soil and reducing the need for irrigation. Berms block wind and introduce texture into the landscape, providing some spots that are wet, some that are dry, […]
09:29 3/13/20
Episode 15: Eliminating Fertilizer and Pest Control with Polyculture
This is the last in a series of episodes about strategies for growing double the food with one tenth of the effort. Conventional methods of controlling pests and fertilizing are time consuming, expensive, and have negative environmental consequences. By emulating nature and growing plants in a polyculture, we can eliminate the need for both while […]
11:21 3/16/20
Episode 16: Growing a Better Lawn with Less Work
Lawns are the most irrigated crop in the United States of America. If we want to have a lawn, let's explore ways to care for a lawn that require much less irrigation. While we're at it, let's find ways to eliminate the need for fertilizer and weed control at the same time. For more info, […]
11:24 3/18/20
Episode 17: Solving Colony Collapse Disorder
Colony collapse disorder threatens to destroy food crops around the world. Conventional beekeepers were reporting losses of 40%! And yet treatment-free beekeepers reported near-zero losses. The solution is easy: stop stressing the bees. To learn more about the book, visit
11:45 3/20/20
Episode 18: Pampering Animals for Increased Plant Growth
Animals are a key component of natural ecosystems. Learning from nature, caring for animals can help us increase the amount of plants growing on a plot. But conventional methods of caring for animals are repulsive, don't help, and cause far more problems. Let's explore the idea of pampering animals instead. For details about the book, […]
13:06 3/23/20
Episode 19: Breaking the Toxic Water Cycle
The toxic footprint of our wastewater is immense. Reducing the amount of water that goes into septic or sewer systems will result in a much higher concentration of toxins, which should hopefully ring more alarm bells to properly handle the material. There are many ways to reduce the amount of water going down the drain. […]
12:44 3/25/20
Episode 20: Safely Recycling Blackwater Nutrients Instead of Flushing Them Away
Blackwater is filled with nutrients. Flushing those nutrients away is like flushing away free fertilizer! But blackwater can also be very dangerous, so we need to deal with it safely. There are many different strategies that one can use. This podcast explores two of those strategies that can work extremely well if done right. For […]
16:49 3/30/20
Episode 21: Replacing Petroleum with People
Most people who talk about permaculture talk about small gardens, or maybe a small homestead. And a few people talk about larger homesteads. But how could permaculture work on 20,000 acres? This episode describes one possible approach. The key is that rather than pouring money into petroleum, we're investing money into people. For more, visit […]
14:20 4/1/20
Episode 22: A New Sustainable Building Design
Imagine living in something that, from the inside, looks like a log cabin with more light; doesn’t need heat or A/C; is three times faster to build; and has about one-fifth of the materials cost. Building one's own home is not for the faint of heart, but this might be a path for some that […]
18:26 4/3/20
Episode 23: Natural Swimming Pools
A swimming pool is a symbol of luxury. It is entirely unnecessary. The energy and toxins involved are problematic. And yet, having a swimming pool can be a wonderful source of joy and relaxation. So rather than going without, let's build natural swimming pools that are cheaper, healthier, have a much smaller footprint, and add […]
15:31 4/6/20
Episode 24: A Millionaire Life Without a Million Dollars
Most people spend their lives working at a job trying to get ahead, but there is another way. This episode shares the fictional story of two people and their life journeys that take radically different paths. One finds that they are living the life of a millionaire… without having a million dollars. More about the […]
11:14 4/8/20
Episode 25: Strategies for Early Retirement
There are many paths to retirement. Some are more extreme than others. This episode explores strategies for acquiring a home without a mortgage, retiring early, and much more. The culmination is "The BEER Plan", which people might like for mysterious, subliminal reasons. To see more info about the book, visit
14:04 4/10/20
Episode 26: Where Do We Go From Here?
This podcast series has been all about providing ideas and solutions for building a better world in your backyard instead of being angry at bad guys. This episode, the last episode of this podcast series, talks about where to go from here, how to decide what to do first, and how to spread the word […]
09:32 4/13/20