In an era when incomprehensibly complex issues like Peak Oil and Climate Change dominate headlines, practical solutions at a local level can seem somehow inadequate.
In response, Lyle Estill's Small Is Possible introduces us to "hometown security," with this chronicle of a community-powered response to resource depletion in a fickle global economy. True stories, springing from the soils of Chatham County, N.C., offer a positive counter balance to the bleakness of our age.
This is the story of how one small southern U.S. town found actual solutions to actual problems. Unwilling to rely on government and wary of large corporations, these residents discovered it is possible for a community to feed itself, fuel itself, heal itself and govern itself.
This book is filled with newspaper columns, blog entries, letters and essays that have appeared on the margins of small town economies. Tough subjects are handled with humor and finesse. Compelling stories of successful small businesses from the grocery co-op to the biodiesel co-op describe a town and its people on a genuine quest for sustainability.
Everyone interested in sustainability, local economy, small business and whole foods will be inspired by the success stories in this book.
Author: Lyle Estill
A remarkable cast of characters inhabit the pages of this book. Meet Tim Toben, who developed a high rise with the lowest energy consumption of any building in the southeastern United States, was foreclosed upon, and lost millions in the process. Gary Phillips held the line against real estate developers in Chatham County and was run out of office for his efforts. Elaine Chiosso has been protecting her watershed by fighting on behalf of the Haw River for 28 years.
Unflinchingly honest and compulsively readable, Small Stories, Big Changes provides an intimate look at the personal experience of being a pioneer in the sustainability movement, laying bare the emotional, spiritual and financial impact of a life lived in the service of change. Activist, farmer, publisher, philosopher or entrepreneur; each writer has a unique personal tale to tell.
Small Stories, Big Changes is a book written by ordinary people doing extraordinary things; whose lives have been transformed by their willingness to commit themselves unreservedly to the creation of a better world. Empowering, hopeful and inspiring, this rich tapestry of voices from the vanguard of societal change is a must-read for anyone dreaming of a brighter future and seeking a counterbalance to a canon of work that is laced with doom and gloom.
Author: Lyle Estill
America's once-vibrant small-to-midsize cities-Syracuse, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass.; Akron, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Rockford, Ill.; and others-increasingly resemble urban wastelands. Gutted by deindustrialization, outsourcing and middle-class flight, disproportionately devastated by metro freeway systems that laid waste to the urban fabric and displaced the working poor, and struggling with pockets of poverty reminiscent of postcolonial squalor, small industrial cities have become invisible to a public distracted by the Wall Street (big city) versus Main Street (small town) matchup. These cities would seem to be part of America's past, not its future. And yet, journalist and historian Catherine Tumber argues in this provocative book, America's gritty Rust Belt cities could play a central role in a greener, low-carbon, relocalized future.
As we wean ourselves from fossil fuels and realize the environmental costs of suburban sprawl, we will see that 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.
Tumber, who has spent much of her life in Rust Belt cities, traveled to 25 cities in the Northeast and Midwest-from Buffalo, N.Y., to Peoria, Ill., to Detroit to Rochester, N.Y.-interviewing planners, city officials and activists, and weaving their stories into this exploration of small-scale urbanism. Smaller cities can be a critical part of a sustainable future and a productive green economy. Small, Gritty, and Green will help us develop the moral and political imagination we need to realize this.
Author: Catherine Tumber
Full of exercises, thinking tools, and inspiring examples from around the world, Take Back the Economy shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies.
Author: Gibson-Graham, Cameron, Healy
This is a book of ideas and action, but it is also a chronicle of personal experience. Readers follow White as he travels the country and world: from Kansas to Los Angeles, New York City, Italy, France, Yellowstone and New England. Along the way he recounts stories of Amish farmers in Ohio, cattle ranchers in the Southwest, creek restorationists in New Mexico, local food entrepreneurs in Arizona and carbon pioneers in Australia. Their stories inform and entertain, but they also reveal encouraging and hopeful answers to anguished questions about our collective future, including issues of sustainability, climate change mitigation, resilience, land health, collaborative conservation, ecological restoration, and regenerative agriculture.
Author: Courtney White
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Just reading the word "subsidies" may cause people's eyes to glaze over. We don't think it affects us directly, so we tune out. But it turns out that this complicated-sounding issue has an enormous impact on all of us. The Big Handout is about bad fiscal, environmental, agricultural, water, energy, health, and foreign policies. And it's a story about just one thing-subsidies. A subsidy is a grant by the government to a private business that is deemed advantageous to the public. Cotton, wheat, corn, soy, and oil are the most subsidized commodities in the United States. In this eye-opening book, New York Times best-selling author Thomas Kostigen explores government policies that cost taxpayers $200 billion per year, over $1,500 per household. In some cases we pay more for subsidized goods than we'd pay in a free market-and, in the most shocking abuses of the subsidy system, we pay for goods that aren't even produced.
The Big Handout exposes how artificial pricing hurts us and people worldwide, from our waistlines and pocketbooks to our health. By revealing just how toxic America's subsidy system has become, for everyone, The Big Handout is a wake-up call that empowers readers to effect change.
Author: Thomas M Kostigen
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As mayors and city councilors seek solutions to climate change, existing policies and legislation can stand in the way of effective change.
The Carbon Charter is the first book to describe the municipal bylaws required to abate climate change and create sustainable communities. It provides city councilors with a cut-and-paste set of green bylaws and policies of best practices culled from environmentally advanced communities around the world. They can be taken straight out of the book, placed into a council agenda with minimum modification, and voted on.
The Carbon Charter provides city councilors with the ammunition they need to implement and accelerate sustainability initiatives quickly. The book describes bylaws that are applicable throughout the world, with the emphasis on examples that are beneficial to temperate climates such as the U.S. and Canada. It also proposes innovative new bylaws that are found nowhere else. This highly accessible, comprehensive handbook includes:
This book will appeal to city councilors and mayors, municipal planners, architects, and engineers worldwide.
Author: Godo Stoyke
For a growing number of people, simplicity has been a path to experience the joy in life, to cherish its richness and vitality. It strips away the burdens of our daily lives so that we are left with exhilaration, spirit and fullness. These people are finding that less -- less work, less rushing, less debt -- is more -- more time with family and friends, more time with community, more time with nature, and more time to develop a meaningful and compelling spirituality.
In The Circle of Simplicity: Return to the Good Life, author Cecile Andrews helps you discover and create the good life for yourself. She is renowned for her workshops on voluntary simplicity and her seminars on creating simplicity circles, where people explore their own life stories and share information and knowledge, helping one another develop lives of simplicity and satisfaction. The circles do not only give people the tools to change, but they also fill unmet needs for community and intimacy and the desire to search for truth in the company of kindred spirits.
Author: Cecile Andrews
Long embraced by corporations that are driven only by the desire for profit, industrial agriculture wastes precious resources and spews millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year, exacerbating climate change and threatening the very earth and water on which we depend. However, this dominant system, from which Americans obtain most of their food, is being supplanted by a new paradigm.
The Emergent Agriculture is a collection of 14 thematic essays on sustainability viewed through the lens of farming. Arguing that industrial food production is incompatible with the realities of nature, science and ethics, this lyrical narrative makes the case for a locally based food system that is:
A revolution in food production is underway. Written from the vantage point of an ecologist who is also a farmer, The Emergent Agriculture is essential reading for anyone interested in food security and the potential for growing local economies. It’s food for thought about the future of food.
Author: Gary Kippel
Learn to identify threatening species through tracks, scat, and the damage they leave behind. Fascinating profiles of more than 50 predatory mammals, birds, and reptiles teach farmers, ranchers, homesteaders, and folks who raise animals in their backyards how to prevent their livestock, poultry, and pets from becoming prey. By understanding how predators think and behave, where and how they live, and how they attack and kill prey, you’ll be able to interpret the potential threats surrounding your home. Whether you have a vested interest in protecting your pets and livestock or are simply spellbound by wild predators, this is the book for you!
Author: Janet Vorwald Dohner
A major outdoor survival book, The Extreme Survival Almanac is unlike anything else on the market. It’s written specifically for regular folks who may be suddenly forced to survive in the wilderness without assistance … and with no planning, specialized training nor equipment. This remote-area survival manual provides clear decision-making guidelines to walk you step-by-step from the first signs of trouble all the way through to rescue. It outlines specific courses of action for every type of survival scenario imaginable, including thousands of useful tips, directions and suggestions that can be understood and followed by the panicked and possibly injured layman stranded in the woods, in a vehicle or at sea.
Sections are devoted to topics like surviving in land-locked settings, including in the desert or in the tundra, as well as surviving at sea. Each section covers the basics for survival in detail, including how to create shelter and find water or food in each scenario. Also included are appendices with navigation tools and maps detailing unique information such as prevailing ocean current patterns, prevailing wind patterns and common commercial flight routs.
Author: Reid Kincaid
Delicious wild edible plants and mushrooms are abundant throughout North America, not only in the wilderness but in urban areas, too. Learn how to identify, harvest, and eat the tastiest plants in your backyard. Dandelion flowers become wine, Japanese knotweed becomes rhubarb-like compote and tangy sorbet, red clover blossoms give quick bread a delightfully spongy texture and hint of sweetness.
Author: Leda Meredith
The Forgotten Pollinators explores the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction: bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats and countless other animals -- some widely recognized and other almost unknown.
Author: Gary Nabhan
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On May 4, 2007, an EF5 tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg in south central Kansas. In the desperate days immediately after the catastrophe, town leaders-including the ex-cop mayor, the city manager, and an environmentalist from Colorado - launched a program to rebuild Greensburg green. Just like the name of the town. Before the tornado, Greensburg was slowly dying, a village about to be buried in the Great Plains. Now it is a mecca for eco-tourists. Author Robert Fraga taught math for 20 years in Egypt, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. Later he taught at Ripon College in Wisconsin and Baker University in Kansas. His two books on mathematics are entitled Calculus Problems for a New Century and War Stories from Applied Math. He and his wife Jean Grant, parents of two grown children, live in Lawrence, Kan., and the Dordogne region of France.
Author: Robert Fraga
For anyone who has ever admired a barn on an old country lane, this is the story of that barn and many others in Southeastern Pennsylvania, or, specifically, “the hearth,” the area east of the Susquehanna River and South of the Blue Mountains. One of the earliest-settled areas in North America, this region of the Keystone State, which includes Lehigh, Bucks, and Lancaster Counties, is home to an astounding 20,000 standing barns, in various states of repair, built from the late 1700s on. Discussed in this text are the primary factors that have determined the fundamental structures and appearances of the six great barn classifications, including forest resources. Other featured topics are architectural aspects and regionalisms, dates of construction, survival of 18th-century examples, mysterious decorations, and barn preservation. Completing this treatise are representative color photographs, building plan sketches, charts conveying the prevalence of types, and a glossary of barn terms.
Author: GREGORY D. HUBER
In her comprehensive history of this uniquely American obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins traces the origin of the front lawn aesthetic, the development of the lawn-care industry, its environmental impact, and modern as well as historic alternatives to lawn mania.
Author: Virginia Scott Jenkins
Tristan Gooley’s more than two decades of pioneering outdoor experience includes research among the Dayak people of Borneo and the Tuareg of the Sahara. With his first book, The Natural Navigator, he started a renaissance in the rare art of reading nature’s clues.
Now, in The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs, Gooley has compiled more than 850 outdoor tips—many not found in any other book in the world—that will open readers’ eyes to nature’s hidden logic. He shares techniques for forecasting and tracking, and for walking in the country or city, along the coast, and by night. This is the ultimate resource on what the land, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals, and clouds can reveal—if you only know how to look!
Author: Tristan Gooley
The Permaculture Promise explains in simple terms why permaculture may be the key to unlocking a livable future on our planet. Author Jono Neiger asserts that humans can thrive while simultaneously making Earth healthier and not destroying it. The Permaculture Promise will inspire you to incorporate permaculture principles into your life today.
Author: Jono Neiger