Steve Bivans

Author, Coach, Urban Viking

Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living

How you can change the World, turn your neighborhood into a modern Shire, and live happily ever after.

Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth is now in PAPERBACK on Amazon!

Now in Paperback!

Now in Paperback!

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 Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth

Do the crises in our world worry you? The pollution, the violence, the corruption, the apathy? Have you ever wished you could escape? Step through a mirror directly into Middle Earth?

Steve Bivans, in his book, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth, argues that we are already there. He examines the problems facing mankind and our planet today through the lens of Tolkien’s world and the War of the Ring. The similarities are all around you, and the struggle is indeed very real. Middle Earth faced destruction at the hands of Sauron and Saruman; our world is under attack from the metaphorical Two Towers: Ignorance & Fear, and Poverty & Greed. Saruman-ic, Corporate Capitalism threatens to control and poison our agriculture, education systems, governments, and our common property—both real and cultural. Worst of all, our sense of humanity and hospitality is being sapped and despoiled. If left to continue unabated, the modern Saurons and Sarumans will devour the basic resources essential to our survival: the water, soil, and the very air we breathe.

Our world has lost its ‘Shireness.’ Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth is a guide to bringing our ‘Shireness’ back, from the bottom up: one Hobbit, one home, and one Shire at a time.

Steve draws positive lessons from Tolkien’s works as a metaphorical map, a guide for reconnecting communities, and rebuilding them into sustainable, modern Shires. While our modern challenges seem complicated, nearly impossible, the solutions are really quite simple. The first step on that journey is a change of mind, a transformation from Modern Humans into Modern Hobbits. Only with this new way of thinking can we begin to clean up our scoured Shires: the damage done to our food supply, to our environment, to our communities, and to our political systems. Will that be easy? No, it will not. After all, realizing that the One Ring must be destroyed, was a simple concept, one that even a rustic Hobbit like Frodo Baggins could understand. Carrying it all the way to Mordor to accomplish the mission was another matter, so was cleaning up the Shire when he and his companions returned home.

Such it is for us. The situation for our planet is dire; Mordor is at the door and the Black Riders are burning our Shires. What will YOU do? Will you destroy the Ring? Or will you hang on to your ‘precioussss’?

Do you have to move ‘to the country’ and live in a hole in the ground?

Absolutely not. Moving isn’t necessary. Instead, we need to bring Nature into our minds, and into those spaces we call home. We must change our story. We need to remember that we are PART of Nature, not Nature’s masters. We need to return to harmony with Nature and with each other, to become what humans were destined to be, builders of gardens and Shires, as Hobbits, not Masters over creatures great and small. You can be a Hobbit, anywhere. Even in a condo in the middle of a city! So buy the book, read it, tell everyone you know about it, then Be a Hobbit, and Save the Earth!

Want to know more? Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the book!

Click HERE to see the Table of Contents!

Also, don’t forget to Subscribe to Be a Hobbit!

      Some quotes from Be a Hobbit:

“Saruman has bewitched us, and our lands are overrun with Ringwraiths in the form of big bankers, who tell us that if we will just borrow their gold, they will look out for us. They take our wealth, shuffle it around in a real-life shell game, which we never win, while they create more and more debt, which in turn creates more and more money for them. And then, with our money in their pockets, or I should say, with the fictional money they created out of thin air, they can turn it to ‘good’ use by influencing the very entity that might be able to keep them in check: the governments of the world.”


“During a Facebook discussion awhile back, I posted something to the effect that we didn’t need GMOs and that no one did. While this was a generalization, I refused to retract it when a friend of a friend argued that I shouldn’t speak for everyone, and that we shouldn’t, “throw out the baby with the bathwater.” I would argue that the last thing we need on this planet, is a lot of two-headed babies.”

” Let me put it bluntly, if I haven’t been clear so far. The day the CEO of Monsanto guzzles a gallon of Roundup, is the day I’ll consider buying their products, maybe.”

“It’s unfortunate, that when universal health care is finally the topic of the day, population is increasing due to the ramping up of the food supply, health is declining, thanks in large part to the poisons in that food, that more doctors will be needed, to see and treat all the new patients Obamacare will certainly create, that those same doctors are reevaluating their decisions to practice medicine, and leaving in large numbers. I suppose we’ll be ok though; we still have all those ‘providers’ to take care of us, when Mother Nature finally gets tired of us crapping in her yard and decides to give us a spanking.”

“Wouldn’t it be prudent to just accept the advice of the majority of the scientific community, prepare for the worst, and hope that it does not come, than to just ignore their advice all together? If 100 well-respected firemen inspected your house and told you that it was a firetrap due to faulty wiring, would you ignore them all, if one drunken fireman, with a lighter and a can of gasoline in his hands said all the others were lying and exaggerating? I think not.”

“No, this hobbit doesn’t skip too many meals, trust me. If you’re reading this book, I doubt you do either. In fact, I can’t read Tolkien without snacking my ass off. The professor should have developed his own line of potato chips or something. He would have made an even bigger killin’.”

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  1. Patience Felt

    May 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm


  2. Unbelievable career Very interesting , serious and funny. I see you are on to the source of our problem.

  3. Excellent! Agreed on the evil pillaging orcs, and wanton desecration of our Mother Earth. I too long to live in a hobbit hole. I am pretty sure I could build one. Even without any formal building skills. I’ve long salivated over straw bale, cob and earth bag construction. I would learn the skills I needed. I would build. I am currently apartment hobbiting; enjoying second breakfast and other home made foods, making my own soap, cream and cleaning products, getting around using the legs I‘m blessed with. But, not to put a spanner in the churn of butter, the way things are, some evil orcs (called building inspectors for the sake of argument) could find my wee hobbit hole and bulldoze it with their oliphants. Even if I could get the land to build it on. Now unless someone wanted to live in the middle of nowhere – I don’t, like any other hobbit I like a bit of conversation and community, where can this be achieved? I wouldn’t expect to build my hobbit hole within any city or town limits, but even in reasonably rural counties, some version of the universal building code still holds sway. Any ideas?

    • Thanks for the comment, H.J.! Yes, building codes, ahhhh; it’s wonderful to have governments to protect us from ourselves, though codes serve a purpose I reckon, to protect us from greedy orcs and Sarumans who would build slums for us to live in. I will have to look into that more, but where there are laws, they must either be changed, or adhered to. That doesn’t mean we can’t break them if doing so helps to bring about that change, but I wouldn’t want to stake my shelter on a protest. It would pay to do one’s research, for sure, when it comes to building a house, whatever shape it comes in. I dream of one day building an actual hobbit hole myself; what fan of LOTR hasn’t? lol But I’m quite content, for now, to hobbitize the house we’re in, which is really the thrust of the book: how modern hobbits can live ‘more like hobbits’ and less like Ringwraiths. How, in other words, can we transform our existing homes, apartments, trailers, duplexes, condos into sustainable, hobbity places, as well as turning our communities into Shires, instead of lots of insulated households, who rarely see each other, let alone talk, or work together. I live in a city too, St Paul, and I love it. I don’t really plan to leave any time soon. But I am working on turning it into a little Shire. I will give the hobbit hole thing some more attention and research. Once I figure it out, I’ll make sure to post on it, as well as include it in the book. We’re going to build a small hobbit hole in our backyard, a playhouse one (for the ‘kids’ wink wink), but that won’t be until next summer probably. I’m already working on ideas for it, including construction, but it won’t be held to the same standards as dwellings, of course.

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