Small cities offer many assets for sustainable living not shared by their big city or small town counterparts: population density (and the capacity for more); fertile, nearby farmland available for local agriculture, windmills and solar farms; and manufacturing infrastructure and workforce skill that can be repurposed for the production of renewable-energy technology.
Author: Catherine Tumber
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without - our grandmothers knew the importance of responsible, thrifty choices. But somewhere along the way we succumbed to the belief that we can get everything for next to nothing, have it shipped halfway around the world and then, more often than not, just throw it away.
This consumer binge is taking its toll. Diet and lifestyle-related illnesses are epidemic, our environment is awash in a sea of plastic, our climate is changing, and the cost of everything is skyrocketing with the price of oil. Are we doomed? No. We can make greener, healthier choices, and we can do it while saving money.
Where to start? Ecothrifty is packed with simple, practical ideas and recipes to help you:
A must-read for anyone who has ever wanted to live a greener life but thought that it would be too expensive, time-consuming or difficult, this handy, complete guide will show you how small changes can have a huge environmental impact and save you thousands of dollars, all while improving your quality of life.
Author: Deborah Niemann
Faith in a Seed contains the hitherto unpublished work The Dispersion of Seeds, one of Henry D. Thoreau's last important research and writing projects, and now his first new book to appear in 125 years.With the remarkable clarity and grace that characterize all of his writings, Thoreau describes the ecological succession of plant species through seed dispersal. "The Dispersion of Seeds," which draws on Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, refutes the then widely accepted theory that some plants spring spontaneously to life, independent of roots, cuttings, or seeds. As Thoreau wrote: "Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders."
Author: Gary Nabhan
America's average farmer is 60 years old. When young people can't get in, old people can't get out. Approaching a watershed moment, our culture desperately needs a generational transfer of millions of farm acres facing abandonment, development or amalgamation into ever-larger holdings. Based on his decades of experience with interns and multigenerational partnerships at Polyface Farm, farmer and author Joel Salatin digs deep into the problems and solutions surrounding this land- and knowledge-transfer crisis. Fields of Farmers empowers aspiring young farmers, midlife farmers and nonfarming landlords to build regenerative, profitable agricultural enterprises.
Author: Joel Salatin
Renewable energy guru Brian F. Keane walks you through the cost-benefit trade-offs that come with the exciting new technologies and introduces you to the revolutionary clean-energy products on the horizon, making the ins and outs of renewable energy easily accessible. He shows what you can do on every level to seize the opportunity and profit from it.
Author: Brian F. Keane
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Create a gorgeous and greener home with the help of Green Remodeling, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living. It includes energy-efficient, healthful and attractive choices in building materials, heating and cooling systems and appliances. It's easy-to-read and well illustrated.
Whether because of changing lifestyles or simply because houses are becoming outdated, millions of North Americans are renovating their homes every year, spending more money annually on renovation than on new home construction. But renovations can be fraught with unintended consequences like indoor air pollution. How do you remodel in a healthy, environmentally friendly way?
Green Remodeling is a comprehensive guide. It first points out the advantages of remodeling. Buildings are responsible for 40% of worldwide energy flow and material use, so how you remodel can make a difference. Upgrading furnaces, cabinets and toilets means less fossil fuel pollution, reduced resource depletion and fewer health risks. Green remodeling is more energy-efficient, more resource-conserving, healthier for occupants, and more affordable to create, operate and maintain.
Green Remodeling then discusses simple green renovation solutions for homeowners, focusing on key aspects of the building - including foundations, framing, plumbing, windows, heating and finishes. Room by room, it outlines the intricate connections that make the house work as a system. For example, how new windows may affect the structure and mechanical systems of the rooms below, the health of the family, and the future of old-growth forests. Then, in an easy-to-read format complete with checklists, personal stories, expert insights and an extensive resource list, it covers easy ways to save energy, conserve natural resources and protect the health of loved ones. Addressing all climates, this is a perfect resource for conventional homeowners, as well as architects and remodeling contractors.
About the authors:
David Johnston has been developing green building programs for the last 10 years. Named one of the top 50 remodelers in the country by Remodeling Magazine in 1990, he developed the first green remodeling program in the country in Boulder, Colorado. He trains remodelers across the U.S. and is creating a national green certification program for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. He is president of What's Working and Lightworks Construction, Inc. He is from Boulder, Colorado.
Kim Master is a Green Building Consultant and Senior Associate with What's Working. She was previously Ecommerce/Project Manager with Care2.com, the largest environmental website for healthy living and a healthy planet. She is from Boulder, Colorado.
Author: David Johnston and Kim Master
Harness the Sun offers a grounded, persuasive vision of America’s energy future. It is a future fueled by clean, renewable sources of power, with solar at center stage.
Author: Philip Warburg
For many people, the word “industry” brings to mind images of sprawling factories belching toxic emissions in a blighted natural landscape. “Industrial” has become synonymous with pollution, human rights abuse, and corporate greed. In Industrial Evolution, Lyle Estill seeks to reclaim the term, with its original connotations of hard work, diligence and productivity, and to show how community-scale enterprise can create a vibrant, sustainable local economy. Industrial Evolution is a story of survival. It is about how the small group of committed entrepreneurs introduced in Small is Possible managed to keep their dream alive and thriving through the economic recession, emerging with a model of what a sustainable local economy might look like in a post carbon future. Compulsively readable and seasoned with light humor, this grassroots account demonstrates that ecological stewardship and enterprise at an appropriate scale can lay the foundation for abundance.
Industrial Evolution skips the doom and gloom and is all about solutions. By showing that it is possible to take the big out of industry, this book motivates people to work together in a meaningful way. Filled with inspirational tales of success, failure, perseverance, and real world experiences that anyone can relate to, Industrial Evolution is a must-read for activists, organizers, politicians, and anyone who cares about resilient communities.
Author: Lyle Estill
Just the Greatest Life is a collection of stories that has warmed hearts around the world. Struggling farmers, amazing neighbors, four-legged friends, and an awe of and appreciation for nature make this self-published page-turner a book you'll read again and again. The editor of Country Journal called it a "pure, inspiring treasure" about a "life gone real." Fellow grass farmer, Joel Salatin, says "Schafer captures the exuberance of newly discovering the 'culture' of agri-culture and the satisfaction of a better way."
Author: David Schafer
For 400 years, explorers, traders, and settlers plundered North American wildlife in an escalating rampage, but in the 20th century an incredible turnaround took place. Conservationists created wildlife sanctuaries, restored habitats, and imposed regulations on hunters and trappers. Over decades, they nursed many wild populations back to health.
Then, after World War II, something happened that conservationists hadn’t foreseen: sprawl. People moved into suburbs, and then kept moving outward. All the while, well-meaning efforts to protect animals allowed wild populations to burgeon out of control, causing damage costing billions, degrading ecosystems, and touching off disputes that polarized communities. The result is a mix of people and wildlife that should be an animal-lover’s dream, but often turns into a sprawl-dweller’s nightmare.
Deeply researched, eloquently written, and perceptively humorous, Nature Wars expresses the need for organic reconnection with our natural ecosystem by offering a provocative look at how Americans created an inadvertent mess.
Author: Jim Sterba
We all know the proverb about teaching someone to fish, but if there are no fish left, knowing how to catch them won’t do you any good. And that’s the position businesses are in today. Resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. The cost of raw materials is rising dramatically. We are, simply put, running out of things to take and places to trash.
To survive in the long term, says Nadya Zhexembayeva, businesses need to make resource scarcity—the overfished ocean—their primary strategic consideration, not just a concern for their “green” division. Those managers who deeply understand and master this shift will be able to turn the new reality into a remarkable competitive advantage.
Overfished Ocean Strategy offers five essential principles for innovating in this new reality. Zhexembayeva shows how businesses have been finding new opportunities in what were once considered useless byproducts, discovering resource-conserving efficiencies up and down their value chain, transferring their expertise from physical products to services, and developing ways to rapidly try out and refine these new business models. A business owner herself, Zhexembayeva fills the book with examples of companies that are already successfully navigating the overfished ocean, from established corporations such as BMW, Microsoft and Puma to newcomers such as Lush, FLOOW2 and Sourcemap.
The linear, throwaway economy of today—in which we extract resources at one end, create products, and throw them away at the other—is rapidly coming to an end. A new economy is being born, one that takes this line and turns it into a circle. In every industry, creative minds are learning how to make money from reducing rather than expanding. Zhexembayeva shows how you can join them and avoid being left high and dry.
Author: Nadya Zhexembayeva
Sale: $14.95 In an era of corporate greed, Bob Moore’s philosophy of putting people before profit is a shining example of what’s right about America. Instead of selling out to numerous bidders who would have made him a very wealthy man, the founder of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods gave the $100 million company to his employees.
Author: Ken Koopman