How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World

Colin Beavan (Author)


The author of No Impact Man and founder of the No Impact Project returns with this trailblazing guide to living a meaningful and fulfilling life while also contributing to the wellbeing of our communities and the planet.

When Colin Beavan embarked upon a yearlong experiment to lead a zero net-impact existence in the middle of New York City, he had no idea what a profound effect it would have upon himself and others around him. For Colin, the project--chronicled in a book, a documentary, and an ongoing lecture series--formed the basis of a radical "lifestyle redesign" that reached beyond just environmental activism. And, in the course of his travels and lectures, he encountered scores of people who were similarly breaking from traditional ideas about work, home, and even family in order to take their futures, and the planet's, in their own hands. In the process they made a startling discovery--a happier way of life that is also having a deeply positive impact on the world.

For most of us, though, even contemplating this kind of transformation is overwhelming and confusing. In How to Be Alive, Beavan shares his insights on finding the path that's right for you. Drawing on everything from classic literature and philosophy to current science, and combining that with his own experiences alongside those of the many people he has met along the way, Colin explores a broad array of transformational lifestyle adjustments--small and large--that offer security and meaning in a world confronted by ecological crises, economic upheaval, and ongoing war and social injustice. In the process, he helps readers embark on the quest for a "good life" of their own--lives both better for them and the planet.

Product Details

$16.99  $15.63
Dey Street Books
Publish Date
March 28, 2017
5.4 X 1.3 X 8.2 inches | 0.85 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Colin Beavan is the author of No Impact Man as well as two previous books that have absolutely nothing to do with the environment: Fingerprints: The Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science and Operation Jedburgh: D-Day and America's First Shadow War. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, and the New York Times, and he posts regularly at No Impact Man. He lives in New York City.


"An encouraging approach to living a less materialistic, more fulfilling life."--Publishers Weekly
"How to be Alive is rich in wisdom. Read it, reflect on it, and choose how you will live the rest of your life. It might turn out to be the most important book you have ever read."--Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation and The Most Good You Can Do
"One of our most thoughtful role models is back with a deep, detailed and generous Baedeker for how to live a better life."--Seth Godin, author of What to Do When It's Your Turn
"Colin Beavan's book will help you inflict untold goodness upon the world--all the while making you a happier person. Highly recommended for any human with a conscience."--A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy
"This is the book where self-help turns into helping the world--and then turns back into helping yourself find a better life. Fascinating and timely!"--Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
"There is a movement afoot for a better life and Colin Beavan is its prophet, with a new book as powerful as his already-classic No Impact Man."--John de Graaf, co-author of Affluenza, President of Take Back Your Time, and co-founder of the Happiness Alliance
"Circles in on answers to the unquiet so many of us have: how can I be real and be good and be right and be happy in a world unhinged from its moorings?"--Vicki Robin, coauthor of Your Money or Your Life and author of Blessing the Hands that Feed Us
"How to Be Alive is for anyone who wants both a better life and a healthier planet."--Annie Leonard, Executive Director of Greenpeace US and author of The Story of Stuff