Seven Wonders

Everyday things for a healthier planet.

Seven Wonders book

By John C. Ryan

See the 2008 edition, Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet.

“The writing style is light-hearted, sometimes wry, yet has a deadly serious intent: to wean Americans from their overconsumptive ways.” -Use Less Stuff Campaign

**Note: Sightline cannot fulfill orders for Seven Wonders. Please order this book directly from Sierra Club Books, or your local bookstore.

Seven Wonders, a follow-up to Sightline’s 1997 book Stuff, asks readers to ponder this question: What would the world be like if everyone on Earth consumed resources the way North Americans do? The conclusion: probably uninhabitable. But the seven time-honored tools presented in this book–the bicycle, the condom, the ceiling fan, the clothesline, Pad Thai, the public library, and the ladybug–are examples of simple things that can help redirect business as usual to sustainable ends.

Each wonder serves as a springboard for examining critical issues, from gridlock and global warming to population and pesticides. Engaging and persuasive, Seven Wonders demonstrates how–in an increasingly crowded and complex world–our choices can make a difference.

Here are excerpts from Seven Wonders:

  • The Bicycle: Two-wheeling ranks as the most energy-efficient form of travel, especially for short trips–and makes you healthier.
  • Use Solar and Windpower: Shifting to renewable energy sources and reducing the amount of energy we waste are the keys to reducing the impacts of industrial nations on the atmosphere.

John C. Ryan was research director for Northwest Environment Watch, the former name of Sightline, from 1993 to 2000.

Published: April 4, 1999