First published in 1972, The Foxfire Book was a surprise best-seller that brought Appalachia’s philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers. Whether you wanted to hunt game, bake the old-fashioned way, or learn the art of successful moonshining, the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center had a contact who could teach you how with clear, step-by-step instructions.
It’s said that the greenest building is the one that’s already built, because so much energy is embodied in the existing structure.
With greater public awareness of the need for energy independence, the issue of how we can make our existing homes more resource-efficient is becoming ever more critical. Residential buildings make up a large fraction of our energy needs, largely due to heating and air-conditioning. So it’s no longer enough to simply do the small stuff, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, or turning down the thermostat at night.
In The Greened House Effect, author Jeff Wilson brings his twenty-five years of construction experience and hands-on knowledge of home building to bear on making our current houses cleaner, greener, more comfortable, and healthier. Think of a deep energy retrofit (DER) as a “whole home makeover”—one that represents a significant investment, but that saves money from the get-go by capturing the energy you “drop on the ground” every month, every year, through inefficiency, poor design, or simply living in a typical older home. This isn’t a book about freezing in the dark, but a solution that allows us to live more comfortably while making a positive impact in the world.
“We can’t buy our way out of the current and impending crises with the latest and greatest high-tech. We can’t buy our way out of it by simply replacing our old stuff with newer, “greener” stuff. That approach only assures that we will continue to experience the vicious circle of energy waste and dependence. I would argue, though, that we can save our way out of these problems,” writes Wilson.
Using his own family’s retrofit of their 1942 home as a prime example, Wilson weaves a readable narrative at a practical, hammer-and-nail level. He presents the solutions to our building and energy problems, making them seem possible for average homeowners and small contractors by offering the right balance of information, skills, financing strategies, and materials.
Technical information is presented in sidebars and graphs, and numerous color photos illustrate the process, including:
Wilson’s building experience, along with his lifelong passion for energy issues, all come together to form an inspirational, can-do approach to making our community, our nation, and our world a better place—one home at a time.
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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.
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.
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.
The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3 contains 360 pages of original agrarian content, essays, cartoons, imagery, and historical snippets, ?harnessed from more than 120 contributors to the Greenhorns (a nontraditional grassroots organization made up of young farmers and ranchers). Farmers hold space in many interwoven commons, and possibilities for our shared future rests on how these intersecting commons are governed?particularly at the juncture of humanity and ecology, where farmers make their workplace. In re-visiting the almanac format, this volume asserts a version of Americana and addresses how to equip ourselves for the challenges of rebuilding the food system and restoring a more democratic, more diverse, and more resilient foundation for society. In the face of a dystopian future where the weather is unpredictable, the fossil fuel economy is on the point of collapse, monopolies are endlessly consolidating, and the country is, for the first time in our history, majority urban, this publication provides a utopian voice. It reminds today’s farmers about the foundational concepts of an agrarian democracy?concepts that are themselves utopian. This almanac also rejects the self-propelling logic of techno-utopia?dependent upon extraction economies and enclosure of common resources. Instead, the book orients itself toward the words of Ursula Le Guin, who reminds us that the intent in utopian thinking should not be “reactionary, nor even conservative, but simply subversive. It seems that the utopian imagination is trapped, like capitalism and industrialism and the human population, in a one-way future consisting only of growth.” This tidy volume holds a civil, lived testimony from people whose work, lifeworld, and behavior patterns beamingly subvert the normative values of the macro economy called America.
Permaculture is more than just the latest buzzword; it offers positive solutions for many of the environmental and social challenges confronting us. And nowhere are those remedies more needed and desired than in our cities. The Permaculture City provides a new way of thinking about urban living, with practical examples for creating abundant food, energy security, close-knit communities, local and meaningful livelihoods, and sustainable policies in our cities and towns. The same nature-based approach that works so beautifully for growing food—connecting the pieces of the landscape together in harmonious ways—applies perfectly to many of our other needs. Toby Hemenway, one of the leading practitioners and teachers of permaculture design, illuminates a new way forward through examples of edge-pushing innovations, along with a deeply holistic conceptual framework for our cities, towns and suburbs.
The Permaculture City begins in the garden but takes what we have learned there and applies it to a much broader range of human experience; we’re not just gardening plants but people, neighborhoods and even cultures. Hemenway lays out how permaculture design can help town dwellers solve the challenges of meeting our needs for food, water, shelter, energy, community and livelihood in sustainable, resilient ways. Readers will find new information on designing the urban home garden and strategies for gardening in community, rethinking our water and energy systems, learning the difference between a “job” and a “livelihood,” and the importance of placemaking and an empowered community.
This important book documents the rise of a new sophistication, depth and diversity in the approaches and thinking of permaculture designers and practitioners. Understanding nature can do more than improve how we grow, make or consume things; it can also teach us how to cooperate, make decisions and arrive at good solutions.
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.
Caught between climate change and a fossil fuel-driven economy that demands ever more growth, the world faces a great transition (by design or by disaster) away from fossil fuels and to a less energy-intensive future. For the first time, the power of permaculture design has been brought to bear on this problem. In the process, acclaimed permaculture teacher and designer Ross Mars has distilled his considerable knowledge into the ultimate resource for resilient living. The Permaculture Transition Manual is packed with information on permaculture design principles, soil building, and nutrient-dense food growing (including top plant and tree selections for all climatic zones). On the desert island of a world in decline, this is the one-stop guide to vibrant, resilient living that you'll want to take with you.
The Predator and Varmint Hunter’s Guidebook will teach you about the many different varmints and predators available to hunt around the country, in addition to the best tactics, rifles, handguns, optics, ammunition, and more to employ for hunting success.
No source is left untapped in this all-encompassing guide to supplying lifesaving water after a disaster. Of all the resources needed after a catastrophe strikes (food, heat, electricity, communication, and transportation) none are as important as water! While a substantial supply should be stored, the size and weight of water make storage impractical for long-term survival. Therefore it’s critical to know how to acquire and purify additional water supplies over time. This guide addresses all of these factors and more with straightforward instruction.
Suitable for novice and expert preppers alike, this book’s laser-sharp focus on water allows for a depth of information not found in any other guide.
The Scoop on Poop presents a wide range of ways to answer the call of nature, and in so doing maximize the benefits of existing wastewater. This book explores proven alternatives to Western wastewater disposal. Whether you're interested in composting toilets, outdoor greywater or blackwater planters, constructed wetlands, or other innovative solutions, author Dan Chiras will walk you through:
• System pros and cons. • Design, construction and maintenance advice. • Costs, permitting issues and the safe treatment of composted waste.
CLEARANCE $16.70 In The Silent Epidemic, physician Alan Lockwood describes and documents the adverse health effects of burning coal. Lockwood's comprehensive treatment examines every aspect of coal, from its complex chemical makeup to details of mining, transporting, burning and disposal (each of which generates significant health concerns).
Reduce your lawn and your grocery budget. Take gardening to the next level! Would you like to grow healthy food for your table? Do you want to learn the secrets of farming even though you live in a neighborhood? Author Amy Stross talks straight about why the suburbs might be the ideal place for a small farm.
In these pages you'll learn:
• How to make your landscape as productive as it is beautiful
• Why the suburbs are primed with food-growing potential
• How to choose the best crops for success
• Why you don’t need the perfect yard to have a micro-farm
• How to use easy permaculture techniques for abundant harvests
This is a common-sense approach to sustainable living that creates a self-sufficient and low-effort home for the people that live there, whether in the city or the country. The Ultimate Guide to Permaculture isn’t a philosophy book, or a dissertation on theory. It is a step-by-step, complete guide to every aspect of permaculture.
In this wholly original blend of science, story, myth and memoir, Haupt draws us into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not. With beautiful illustrations and practical sidebars on everything from animal tracking to opossum removal
Ever wanted to take a bicycle vacation? Go on a bike date? Convert your beater into a fixie? Or are you just curious about the anthropology of urban cycling culture? The Urban Biking Handbook teaches you the anatomy of your bike, how to dismantle it, how to reassemble it, how to make it pretty, how to make it ugly…and most importantly, how to make it yours. Bike your way through car-jammed cities, under overpasses, and over the hills and far away to a cyclist’s paradise.
There are 40 million acres of lawns in North America. In their current form, these unproductive expanses of grass represent a significant financial and environmental cost. However, viewed through a different lens, they can also be seen as a tremendous source of opportunity. Access to land is a major barrier for many people who want to enter the agricultural sector, and urban and suburban yards have huge potential for would-be farmers wanting to become part of this growing movement.
The Urban Farmer is a comprehensive, hands-on, practical manual to help you learn the techniques and business strategies you need to make a good living growing high-yield, high-value crops right in your own backyard (or someone else's). Major benefits include:
• Low capital investment and overhead costs.
• Reduced need for expensive infrastructure.
• Easy access to markets.
Growing food in the city means that fresh crops may travel only a few blocks from field to table, making this innovative approach the next logical step in the local food movement. Based on a scalable, easily reproduced business model, The Urban Farmer is your complete guide to minimizing risk and maximizing profit by using intensive production in small leased or borrowed spaces.
Will Allen's War on Bugs reveals how advertisers, editors, scientists, large-scale farmers, government agencies and even Dr. Seuss colluded to convince farmers to use deadly chemicals, hormones and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in an effort to pad their wallets and control the American farm enterprise.
Fully supported by a complete suite of online resources and tools, Toward Sustainable Communities is packed with concrete, innovative solutions to a host of municipal challenges. Required reading for policymakers, educators, social enterprises and engaged citizens, this "living book" will appeal to anyone concerned about community sustainability and a livable future.