Books

This page last updated on 10/31/14

Water

  • A River No More - Philip L. Fradkin- This is a definitive history of the development of the Colorado River and the claims made upon it from its source in the Wyoming Rockies to the Gulf of California, where it evaporates in the sand.
  • Blue Gold: THe Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water - Maude Barlow - Discover the problem with the privatization of water and how it will effect our daily lives, environment, and economy.
  • Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis - Cynthia Barnett - Journalist Cynthia Barnett both outlines the causes of our current water crisis, as well as provides hopeful and practical solutions.
  • Cadillac Desert - Marc Reisner - The definitive history of water resources in the American West, and a very illuminating lesson in the political economy of limited resources anywhere.
  • Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis - Jerry Yudelson - Learn the best ways to manage scarce water resources and handle upcoming urban water crises.
  • Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind - Brian Fagan - Fagan reveals how all civilizations and societies, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern day Los Angeles, are shaped by their relationship to water. 
  • Gila: The Life and Death of an American River - Gregory McNamee - Follows the ecologic history of the Gila River from its source in New Mexico, through its confluence with the Colorado River and into Arizona. Today, half of the Gila is dead, due to overgrazing, damming, and other practices.
  • Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity - Sandra Postel - The worldwide water crisis, according to this book, is due to its ready availability, low cost, people's overuse, and lack of respect for this life-sustaining resource. Solutions are giving for restoring and sustaining this essential lifeline.
  • Managing Water: Avoiding Crisis in California - Dorothy Green - Green discusses the complex system of how California water is controlled, stored, delivered, and managed.  What are the issues that elected officials, water and resources managers, and the general public faced with when it comes to water in California.
  • Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands - Brad Lancaster - This is the first volume of a three-volume guide on how to conceptualize, design, and implement sustainable water-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community.
  • Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (Without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower) and Found Nirvana - Wendt Pabich - Taking on Water is the story of the author's personal quest to extract and implement, from a dizzying soup of data and analysis, day-to-day solutions to reduce water use in her life. She sets out to examine the water footprint of the products she consumes, process her own wastewater onsite, revamp the water and energy systems in her home, and make appropriate choices in order to swim the swim. Part memoir, part investigation, part solution manual, the book is filled with ruminations on philosophy, science, facts, figures, and personal behavioral insights; metrics, both serious and humorous, to track progress; and guidelines for the general public for making small (or perhaps monumental) but important changes in their own lives. Told with humor and grace, Taking on Water offers a raw account of how deep we need to dig to change our wasteful ways.
  • The Big Thirst - Charles Fishman - Explore the fascinating history, current usage, and turbulent future of our most vital resourse: water.
  • The Ripple Effect - Alex Prud'homme - When author Alex Prud'homme set out to discover how people across the U.S. and around the world are using and abusing water, he discovered the ripple effect: every time we use water, it sets off deep and wide hydrologic ripple effects, with consequences that most of us are unaware of.
  • The Secret Knowledge of Water - Craig Childs - Deserts are environments that can be inhospitable even to seasoned explorers. Craig Childs has spent years in the deserts of the American West, and his treks through arid lands in search of water reveal the natural world at its most extreme.  
  • Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It - Robert Glennon - From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.
  • When the Rivers Run Dry - Fred Pearce - Through his travels to more than thirty countries, Fred Pearce weaves together the complicated scientific, economic, and historic dimensions of the world water crisis.

Energy 

  • Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak - No longer a discussion that can be kicked down the road, geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes explores our fuel options to replace oil. 
  • Eaarth - Bill McKibben - Acknowledging that massive change is already underway, Bill McKibben argues that our only hope relies on building the kind of societies and economies that can hunker down, concentrate on essentials, and create the type of community that will allow us to weather trouble on an unprecedented scale. 
  • Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism - Ozzie Zehner - We don't have an energy crisis.  WE have a consumption crisis.
  • Power Down - If the US continues with its current policies, the next decades will be marked by war, economic collapse, and environmental catastrophe. Resource depletion and population pressures are about to catch up with us, and no one is prepared. The alternative is "Powerdown," a strategy that will require tremendous effort and economic sacrifice in order to reduce per-capita resource usage in wealthy countries, develop alternative energy sources, distribute resources more equitably, and reduce the human population humanely but systematically over time.
  • Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air - Comprised of case studies, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable power with foreign countries. While underlining the difficulty of minimizing consumption, the tone remains positive as it debunks misinformation and encourages individual changes that will benefit the world at large.
  • The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone - Seamus McGraw - Susquehanna County, in the remote northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, is a community of stoic, low-income dairy farmers and homesteaders seeking haven from suburban sprawl—and the site of the Marcellus Shale, a natural gas deposit worth more than one trillion dollars. In The End of Country, journalist and area native Seamus McGraw opens a window on the battle for control of this land, revealing a conflict that pits petrodollar billionaires and the forces of corporate America against a band of locals determined to extract their fair share of the windfall—but not at the cost of their values or their way of life. Rich with a sense of place and populated by unforgettable personalities, McGraw tells a tale of greed, hubris, and envy, but also of hope, family, and the land that binds them all together.
  • The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy - Learn how to utilize renewables in order to reduce your carbon footprint and energy costs.
  • The Third Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, The Economy, and the World - Jeremy Rifkin - Jeremy Rifkin explores how Internet technology and renewable energy are merging to create a powerful “Third Industrial Revolution.” He asks us to imagine hundreds of millions of people producing their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories, and sharing it with each other in an “energy internet,” just like we now create and share information online.  Rifkin describes how the five-pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution will create thousands of businesses, millions of jobs, and usher in a fundamental reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct commerce, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.
  • The Young Activist's Guide to Building a Green Movement and Changing the World - Sharon J. Smith - If you want to make a significant and sustainable impact on the health of our planet, this powerful and practical guide can help. Author and activist Sharon J. Smith shares proven strategies and lessons learned from the winners of Earth Island Institute's Brower Youth Awards--America's top honor for young green leaders. Here are all the tools you need--from planning a campaign and recruiting supporters to raising money and attracting media attention--to turn your ideas into actions and make changes that matter.  Throughout this book Sharon spotlights stories from youth like Jessie-Ruth Corkins, who saved her school $90,000 by greening its heating system for a science project, and Billy Parish, whose small student group became one of the most influential coalitions in America addressing climate change.  These eco-heroes have made headlines for passing legislation, founding nonprofits, and raising millions of dollars for sustainability--all before their twenty-third birthdays.

Global Climate Change

  • An Inconvenient Truth - Gore’s follow-up to the bestselling Earth in the Balance. Both the book and film were inspired by a series of multimedia presentations on global warming that Gore created and delivers to groups around the world.
  • Boiling Point - Gelbspan, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, offers no less than a call to arms in this treatise on how global warming is a threat and how it can be avoided.
  • Climate Cover-Up - James Hoggan - Talk of global warming is nearly inescapable these days — but there are some who believe the concept of climate change is an elaborate hoax. Despite the input of the world’s leading climate scientists, the urgings of politicians, and the outcry of many grassroots activists, many Americans continue to ignore the warning signs of severe climate shifts. How did this happen? Climate Cover-up seeks to answer this question, describing the pollsters and public faces who have crafted careful language to refute the findings of environmental scientists. Exploring the PR techniques, phony "think tanks," and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth.
  • Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming - Fred Krupp - The forecasts are grim and time is running out, but that’s not the end of the story. In this book, Fred Krupp, longtime president of Environmental Defense Fund, brings a surprisingly hopeful message: We can solve global warming. And in doing so, we will build the new industries, jobs, and fortunes of the twenty-first century.  In these pages the reader will encounter the bold innovators and investors who are reinventing energy and the ways we use it. These entrepreneurs are poised to remake the world’s biggest business and save the planet—if America’s political leaders give them a fair chance to compete.
  • Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning - George Monbiot - Heat demonstrates that we can achieve the necessary cut—a 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030—without bringing civilization to an end. Though writing with a “spirit of optimism,” Monbiot does not pretend it will be easy. Our response will have to be immediate, and it will have to be decisive.  With dazzling intellect and ample wit, Monbiot supports his proposals with a rigorous investigation into what works, what doesn’t, how much it costs, and what the problems might be. And he is not afraid to attack anyone—friend or foe—whose claims are false or whose figures have been fudged. There is no time to waste, Monbiot observes, “We are the last generation that can make this happen, and this is the last possible moment at which we can make it happen.”
  • Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth - Mark Hertsgaard refers to every child on earth born after June 23, 1988 as part of "Generation Hot." That is the date NASA scientist James Hansen gave testimony to the United States Senate about global warming and the news was printed on the front page of The New York Times. Hertsgaard  views this as the day humanity was put on notice about greenhouse gas emissions and now we must all pull together to make up for not heeding Hansen's warning. 
  • Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis by Al Gore - This book is about the solutions to the climate crisis. During the three and a half years since the publication and release of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore organized and moderated more than 30 lengthy and intensive “Solutions Summits” where leading experts from around the world have come to discuss and share their knowledge of and experience in subjects relevant to the construction of a plan to solve this crisis. Our Choice is the result of the groundbreaking insights offered by the participants in this multiyear dialogue.
  • Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change - Andrew T. Guzman - xplore its real-world consequences. He writes not as a scientist, but as an authority on international law and economics. He takes as his starting point a fairly optimistic outcome in the range predicted by scientists: a 2 degree Celsius increase in average global temperatures. Even this modest rise would lead to catastrophic environmental and social problems. Already we can see how it will work: The ten warmest years since 1880 have all occurred since 1998, and one estimate of the annual global death toll caused by climate change is now 300,000. That number might rise to 500,000 by 2030. He shows in vivid detail how climate change is already playing out in the real world. Rising seas will swamp island nations like Maldives; coastal food-producing regions in Bangladesh will be flooded; and millions will be forced to migrate into cities or possibly "climate-refugee camps." Even as seas rise, melting glaciers in the Andes and the Himalayas will deprive millions upon millions of people of fresh water, threatening major cities and further straining food production. Prolonged droughts in the Sahel region of Africa have already helped produce mass violence in Darfur.
  • The Conundrum - David Owen - How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make our Energy and Climate Problems Worse
  • The Discovery of Global Warming - Traces the history of the scientific consensus surrounding global warming.
  • The Heat is On - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ross Gelbspan exposes the machinations of oil and coal companies and conservative politicians to undermine the public confidence in science and thereby defer action against global warming. This riveting expose is a spirited call to action against the corporate disinformation campaign that threatens us all.
  • The Moon in the Nautilus Shell: Discordant Harmonies Reconsidered - Daniel B. Botkin - For one thing, although we live in a world of constantly changing environments and talk a lot about climate change, most of our environmental laws, policies, and scientific premises are based on the idea that the environment is constant, never changing, except when people affect it.  For another, we have lost contact with nature in personal ways. Disconnected from our surroundings, we lack the deep understanding and feelings about the environment to make meaningful judgments. The environment has become just another one of those special interests that interferes with our lives.
  • The Nature Principle - Richard Louv - The author urges us to change our vision of the future, suggesting that if we reconceive environmentalism and sustainability, they will evolve into a larger movement that will touch every part of society.  This New Nature Movement taps into the restorative powers of the natural world to boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv offers renewed optimism while challenging us to rethink the way we live.
  • The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth - Tim Flannery - An international best seller embraced and endorsed by policy makers, scientists, writers and energy industry executives from around the world, Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers contributed in bringing the topic of global warming to national prominence. For the first time, a scientist provided an accessible and comprehensive account of the history, current status, and future impact of climate change, writing what has been acclaimed by reviewers everywhere as the definitive book on global warming.  With one out of every five living things on this planet committed to extinction by the levels of greenhouse gases that will accumulate in the next few decades, we are reaching a global climatic tipping point. The Weather Makers is both an urgent warning and a call to arms, outlining the history of climate change, how it will unfold over the next century, and what we can do to prevent a cataclysmic future. Originally somewhat of a global warming skeptic, Tim Flannery spent several years researching the topic and offers a connect-the-dots approach for a reading public who has received patchy or misleading information on the subject. Pulling on his expertise as a scientist to discuss climate change from a historical perspective, Flannery also explains how climate change is interconnected across the planet. 
  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate - Naomi Klein - In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.
  • Tropic of Chao: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence - Christin Parenti -  Christian Parenti travels along the front lines of this gathering catastrophe--the belt of economically and politically battered postcolonial nations and war zones girding the planet's midlatitudes. Here he finds failed states amid climatic disasters. But he also reveals the unsettling presence of Western military forces and explains how they see an opportunity in the crisis to prepare for open-ended global counterinsurgency.  Parenti argues that this incipient "climate fascism"--a political hardening of wealthy states-- is bound to fail. The struggling states of the developing world cannot be allowed to collapse, as they will take other nations down as well. Instead, we must work to meet the challenge of climate-driven violence with a very different set of sustainable economic and development policies.

Waste

  • American Wasteland - Jonathan Bloom - As more people are going hungry while simultaneously more people are morbidly obese, American Wasteland sheds light on the history, culture, and mindset of waste while exploring the parallel eco-friendly and sustainable-food movements. As the era of unprecedented prosperity comes to an end, it’s time to reexamine our culture of excess.  Working at both a local grocery store and a major fast food chain and volunteering with a food recovery group, Bloom also interviews experts—from Brian Wansink to Alice Waters to Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen—and digs up not only why and how we waste, but, more importantly, what we can do to change our ways.
  • Cradle to Cradle - William McDonough's book, written with his colleague, the German chemist Michael Braungart, is a manifesto calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design.
  • Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash - Acclaimed science writer Elizabeth Royte exposes the "away" that trash seemingly goes to after we set it out on the curb.
  • Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash - Take a journey inside the secret world of our biggest export, our most prodigious product, and our greatest legacy: our trash.
  • Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage - Journalist and filmmaker Heather Rogers takes the reader on an oddly fascinating tour through the underworld of garbage and brings meaning to all that gets discarded. 
  • Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade - When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin, where does it go? Probably halfway around the world, to people and places that clean up what you don’t want and turn it into something you can’t wait to buy. In Junkyard Planet, Adam Minter—veteran journalist and son of an American junkyard owner—travels deeply into a vast, often hidden, multibillion-dollar industry that’s transforming our economy and environment.
  • Natural Capitalism - Chapter 3 Waste Not - excerpt outlining all the resources that go into manufacturing a can of soda. p. 49-50.
  • Paper or Plastic - by Daniel Imhoff. "About one-third of America's municipal solid waste is packaging - at least 300 pounds per person each year - and the "upstream" costs in energy and resources used to make packaging are even more alarming." This book also has some amazing photography.
  • Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage - Authors William Rathje and Cullen Murphy show what the study of garbage tells us about a population's demographics and buying habits. 
  • Teaming With Microbes: A Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web - by Jeff Lowenfels and W. Lewis. A popular book among gardeners and composters, this book provides an interesting and in-depth look at how to create healthy soil without the use of fertilizers and other chemicals.
  • The World's Scavengers: Salvaging for Sustainable Consumption and Production - Up to 2% of the urban population in developing countries survives by salvaging materials from waste for recycling, which represents up to 64 million scavengers in the world today. In this book, Martin Medina reveals the truths behind some of the myths associated with scavenging.  
  • Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash - Before the twentieth century, almost everything was reused out of necessity and lack of wealth. Author Susan Strasser tells the story of how we moved from this, to our modern day affinity for convenience, disposability, fashion, and constant technological change which has led to waste on a massive scale.
  • Worms Eat My Garbage - by Mary Appelhof. How to set up and maintain a worm composting system.
  • The Zero Waste Solution - Paul Connett -  The Zero Waste Solution, author and scientist-turned-activist Paul Connett profiles the most successful zero-waste initiatives around the world, showing activists, planners, and entrepreneurs how to re-envision their community’s waste-handling process by doing the following: Consuming less; Turning organic waste into compost; Recycling and reusing other waste; Demanding nonwasteful product design; and, Creating jobs and bringing community members together in the process. 

Chemicals

  • Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power by Mark Schapiro - about the book from Center for Investigative Reporting.
  • How to Grow Fresh Air - Learn about which houseplants are the best filters of common pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene released from furniture, carpets, and building material.
  • No More Dirty Looks - After revealing the ingredients in beauty products, authors Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt walk you through how to detoxify your beauty regimen. 
  • Not Just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan - Do your favorite products contain hazardous chemicals?
  • Our Stolen Future - Following in the footsteps of Silent Spring, this book expands on Rachel Carson's work by revealing the full consequences of man-made chemicals, not only on wildlife, but also on humankind.
  • Plastic: A Toxic Love Story - Susan Freinkel - Explore our love affair with plastic through eight familiar plastic objects: comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. 
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson - released in 1962, offered the first shattering look at widespread ecological degradation and touched off an environmental awareness that still exists. Rachel Carson's book focused on the poisons from insecticides, weed killers, and other common products as well as the use of sprays in agriculture, a practice that led to dangerous chemicals to the food source.
  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck - Authors Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie use themselves as guinea pigs by ingesting and inhaling a host of things that are part of our everyday lives. They also draw connections between the manufacturers of everyday toxins, government oversight, or lack thereof, and the ultimate consequences these toxins have on people and families.
  • Super Natural Home - After a health scare caused author Beth Greer to reevaluate her lifestyle, she provides practical advice for readers to do the same.
  • The Hundred-Year Lie: How to Protect Yourself from the Chemicals That Are Destroying Your Health - Investigates the negative effects of man-made chemicals on humans and provides suggestions for leading healthier lives. 
  • What's Toxic, What's Not - Cut through the confusion about which chemicals are dangerous and which are not with the help of two toxics experts with decades of experience in public health. 

Transportation

  • Biodiesel America: How to Achieve Energy Security, Free America from Middle-east Oil Dependence And Make Money Growing Fuel - by Josh Tickell. "Oil: In the time that it takes Earth to travel around the sun once, humanity extracts 30 billion barrels of it from the crust of this planet."
  • Human Transit - Public transit is a powerful tool for addressing a huge range of urban problems, including traffic congestion and economic development as well as climate change. But while many people support transit in the abstract, it's often hard to channel that support into good transit investments. In Human Transit, Jarrett Walker supplies the basic tools, the critical questions, and the means to make smarter decisions about designing and implementing transit services.
  • Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities - In a world of growing traffic congestion, expensive oil, and threats of cataclysmic climate change, a grassroots movement is carving out a niche for bicycles on the streets of urban cityscapes. In Pedaling Revolution, Jeff Mapes explores the growing urban bike culture that is changing the look and feel of cities across the U.S. 
  • Plug In Hybrids - by Sherry Boschert. "Includes the most comprehensive analysis of Well to Wheels emissions Alternative Fuel comparisons."
  • Suburban Nation - Provides a voice to the growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and replace the last century’s automobile-based settlement patterns with a return to more traditional planning.
  • The Cyclist's Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four - Author Robert Hurst takes off his gloves to lay out the case in favor of the bicycle as today’s superior mode of transport—and to voice a resounding call to action for people to use it.
  • The High Cost of Free Parking - Donald Shoup argues that free parking has contributed to auto dependence, rapid urban sprawl, extravagant energy use, and a host of other problems. Shoup proposes new ways for cities to regulate parking - namely, charge fair market prices for curb parking, use the resulting revenue to pay for services in the neighborhoods that generate it, and remove zoning requirements for off-street parking. 
  • Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do - Providing insight into out human nature, this book explores driver behavior and presents us with some not so intuitive facts related to life behind the wheel.
  • Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time - Urban planner Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. And he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. Bursting with sharp observations and real-world examples, giving key insight into what urban planners actually do and how places can and do change, Walkable City lays out a practical, necessary, and eminently achievable vision of how to make our normal American cities great again.

 

 

Children's Books

  • 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World  - Melanie Walsh - Do you remember to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth? How about using both sides of the paper when writing and drawing? Or planting seeds and nurturing the new plants as they grow? Bold, child-friendly illustrations and die-cut pages will draw even the youngest listeners to this gentle reminder of the easy, everyday ways we can be kinder to the earth.
  • All the Way to the Ocean - Joel Harper - An uplifting story about two best friends, Isaac and James, and their discovery of the cause and effect relationship between our cities' storm drains and the world's oceans, lakes and rivers. It is sure to inspire both young and adult readers alike and teach a timeless life lesson--If we all do our part, a cleaner, safer environment is indeed within our reach.
  • Birds of Prey Rescue: Changing the Future for Endangered Wildlife - Pamela M. Hickman - Illustrated with 50 spectacular color photographs, Birds of Prey Rescue also addresses the general biological issues and challenges in preserving a future for endangered wildlife.
  • Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Super-Charged Projects for Kids - Michael J. Caduto - Kids ages 8—12 will love these 22 exciting activities and experiments focused on producing and playing with renewable energy. Projects range from the quick and simple — like the Pie Plate Wind-Maker — to the thrillingly large-scale, like Pedal Power, in which kids use a bicycle to power a 12-volt battery. Each activity teaches children about renewable energy and larger environmental issues. Education doesn’t get more fun than this! Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun offers more than enough to get any kid charged up about renewable energy.
  • Grow - Juanita Havill - Everything about Berneetha is big—her mouth, her size, and especially her dreams. And when Berneetha decides to create a community garden on a vacant lot, twelve-year-old Kate Sibley just has to help make that dream a reality. At first the neighbors think Kate and Berneetha are crazy, but slowly they begin to come around. “Graffiti gangster” Harlan turns out to be pretty good with a rented tiller. Dr. Chitra Arockiasamy is willing to be in charge of tomatoes. Hank Glover would like to grow corn. And unsmiling Jacob Wasserman somehow manages to get some manure. Slowly, a community begins to grow, just as the garden does.

 

  • Heroes of the Environment - Harriet Rohmer - This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.
  • Home and Other Big Fat Lies - Jill Wolfson - Whitney has been in so many foster homes that she can give a complete rundown on the most common varieties of foster parents--from the look-on-the-bright-side types to those unfortunate examples of pure evil. But one thing she doesn't know much about is trees. This means heading for Foster Home #12 (which is all the way at the top of the map of California, where there looks to be nothing but trees) has Whitney feeling a little nervous. She is pretty sure that the middle of nowhere is going to be just one more place where a hyper, loud-mouthed kid who is messy and small for her age won't be welcome for long.
  • Miss Fox's Class Goes Green - Elieen Spinelli - When Miss Fox shows up at school riding her bicycle, Mouse asks, "Do you have a flat tire?" "No," Miss Fox tells her students. "I am going green!" Soon everyone in the class is working to keep the earth healthy. Mouse takes shorter showers (and does her singing after!); Bunny brings a cloth bag to the supermarket; and Possum turns the lights off when he goes out. And Miss Fox's simple act has ripples even beyond her own students...soon the whole school starts riding their bikes--including the principal.

  • On Meadowview Street - Henry Cole - Caroline lives on Meadowview Street. But where's the meadow? Where's the view? There's nothing growing in her front yard except grass. Then she spots a flower and a butterfly and a bird and Caroline realizes that with her help, maybe Meadowview Street can have a meadow after all.
  • One Well: The Story of Water on Earth - Rochelle Strauss - One Well shows how every one of us has the power to conserve and protect our global well

  • Onion Juice, Poop, and Other Surprising Sources of Alternative Energy - Mark Weakland - We need energy to power our computers and run our cars. But who would have thought that we could use poop for power or that microbes could ooze oil? Plug your nose, and get ready to dig into some amazing new sources of energy.
  • Operation Redwood - S. Terrell French - “Sibley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerk,” reads Julian Carter-Li in an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle. The fateful message sets him on the course to stop an environmental crime! His uncle's company plans to cut down some of the oldest California redwood trees, and it's up to Julian and a ragtag group of friends to figure out a way to stop them. This thrilling, thoughtful debut novel shows the power of determined individuals, no matter what their age, to stand up to wrongdoing.

  • The Earth Book - Todd Parr - Featuing a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks, this book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good - from planting a tree and using both sides of the paper, to saving energy and reusing old things in new ways.
  • The Green Mother Goose - David Davis - Mother Goose has gone green-and this playful picture book invites kids to join the fun. In these delightful “recycled” rhymes, Old Mother Hubbard shops with cloth grocery bags; Old King Coal is a better old soul, working to keep our skies smoke-free; and Hickety, Pickety is now a cage-free hen!  Carin Berger's stunning and whimsical eco-friendly collages are created from ticket stubs, newspapers, and other reused items.

Shopping & Food

  • Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic - Based on two highly acclaimed PBS documentaries watched by 10 million viewers, "Affluenza" uses the whimsical metaphor of a disease to tackle a very serious subject: the damage done -- to our health, our families, our communities, and our environment -- by the obsessive quest for material gain. 
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver - Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.
  • Born to Buy - Marketing targeted at kids is virtually everywhere -- in classrooms and textbooks, on the Internet, even at Girl Scout meetings, slumber parties, and the playground. Product placement and other innovations have introduced more subtle advertising to movies and television. Drawing on her own survey research and unprecedented access to the advertising industry, Juliet B. Schor examines how marketing efforts of vast size, scope, and effectiveness have created "commercialized children." 
  • Deep Economy - Bill McKibben's book about a sustainable economy and the wealth that is created when we build strong and resilient communities. A manifesto on moving beyond 'growth' as the measure of economic prosperity.
  • Diet for a Hot Planet - Nearly four decades after her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, published Diet for a Small Planet, sparking a revolution in our thinking about the social and environmental impact of our food choices, Anna Lappé picks up the conversation, examining another hidden cost of our food system: the climate crisis. 
  • Eating Animals - As Jonathan Safran Foer became a husband, and then a father, the moral dimensions of eating became increasingly important to him. Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. 
  • Edible Landscaping - Rosalind Creasy - Drawing on the author’s decades of research and experience, the book presents everything you need to know to create an inviting home landscape that will yield mouthwatering vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries. The comprehensive Encyclopedia of Edibles—a book in itself—provides horticultural information, culinary uses, sources, and recommended varieties; and appendices cover the basics of planting and maintenance, and of controlling pests and diseases using organic and environmentally friendly practices.
  • Food Not Lawns - combines practical wisdom on ecological design and community-building with a fresh, green perspective on an age-old subject. Activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own "paradise gardens." Via chelseagreen.com.
  • Food Politics - "In the U.S., we're bombarded with nutritional advice--the work, we assume, of reliable authorities with our best interests at heart. Far from it, says Marion Nestle, whose Food Politics absorbingly details how the food industry--through lobbying, advertising, and the co-opting of experts--influences our dietary choices to our detriment. Central to her argument is the American "paradox of plenty," the recognition that our food abundance (we've enough calories to meet every citizen's needs twice over) leads profit-fixated food producers to do everything possible to broaden their market portion, thus swaying us to eat more when we should do the opposite. The result is compromised health: epidemic obesity to start, and increased vulnerability to heart and lung disease, cancer, and stroke--reversible if the constantly suppressed "eat less, move more" message that most nutritionists shout could be heard."
  • Food Revolution - John Robbins exposes the dangers behind many of today's foods and reveals the extraordinary benefits of healthy alternatives. The Food Revolution will show you how to extend your life, increase your vibrancy and vitality, and take a stand for a more compassionate and sustainable world. Via foodrevolution.org.
  • Foodopoly – Wenonah Hauter - Wenonah Hauter owns an organic family farm that provides healthy vegetables to hundreds of families as part of the growing nationwide Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement. Yet, as one of the nation's leading healthy–food advocates, Hauter believes that the local food movement is not enough to solve America's food crisis and the public health debacle it has created. In Foodopoly, she takes aim at the real culprit: the control of food production by a handful of large corporations—backed by political clout—that prevents farmers from raising healthy crops and limits the choices that people can make in the grocery store.
  • Fruitless Fall – Rowan Jaconsen – Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time with no pollination and no fruit. The fruitless fall nearly became a reality when, in 2007, beekeepers watched thirty billion bees mysteriously die. And they continue to disappear. The remaining pollinators, essential to the cultivation of a third of American crops, are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural catastrophe. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take the abundance of our Earth for granted. A new afterword by the author tracks the most recent developments in this ongoing crisis.
  • Greenopia (Los Angeles)  – Updated and expanded with more than 1,100 independently reviewed local listings of green businesses, retailers, service providers, and organizations in the Los Angeles area, this guide is an indispensable reference for eco-friendly shopping. It also offers practical advice and environmental tips that can easily be followed at home. Listings range from organic restaurants and grocery stores to dry cleaners, organic pest-control services, and sustainable building suppliers including landscapers and interior designers. All listings are vetted by a research team and then rescreened through local expert advisers, providing shoppers with confident, reliable choices. Some listings are further recognized with a "green leaf" award, which gauges green businesses on a scale of one to four leaves, four being the greenest. This guide is a truly complete resource for green living.
  • Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating – Jane Goodall - The renowned scientist who fundamentally changed the way we view primates and our relationship with the animal kingdom now turns her attention to an incredibly important and deeply personal issue-taking a stand for a more sustainable world. In this provocative and encouraging book, Jane Goodall sounds a clarion call to Western society, urging us to take a hard look at the food we produce and consume-and showing us how easy it is to create positive change.Offering her hopeful, but stirring vision, Goodall argues convincingly that each individual can make a difference. She offers simple strategies each of us can employ to foster a sustainable society. Brilliant, empowering, and irrepressibly optimistic, HARVEST FOR HOPE is one of the most crucial works of our age. If we follow Goodall's sound advice, we just might save ourselves before it's too late.

  • Hey, Mr. Green: Sierra Magazine Answer Guy Tackles Your Toughest Green Living Questions – Bob Schildgen - When is the right time to replace an old refrigerator? Is it okay to knit a sweater with acrylic yarn? Is it more environmentally correct to buy beer in bottles or cans? For the last several years, Bob Schildgen’s popular “Hey Mr. Green” column has tackled real-world questions from real people. Readers trust his answers, which are backed by Sierra Club’s research, but they also enjoy his realism and irreverent humor. This book distills the best of the column into one enormously useful and entertaining resource. It’s organized by subject — household issues, food and drink, transportation, reuse and recycling, and “big picture” environmental questions — making it easy to find answers to common questions. Whether puzzling over the intricacies of product life cycles or taking a reader to task for blasting his air conditioner, Hey Mr. Green is an indispensable, opinionated, and authoritative guide to minding one’s environmental footprint.
  • How Much is Enough? The Consumer Society and the Future of the Earth – Alan Durning - It discusses the use of resources, pollution, and the distortions created in the economies of both wealthy industrialized nations and Third World countries.

  • In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan - "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." "That's it. That is the short answer to the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy. The implication of Pollan's advice, however, is that what we're eating now isn't food."
  • Learning To Shop Sustainably: The Consumers Guide to Environmental Impact Assessment and the Green Marketplace - Doug Mazeffa - This guide, written by one of the leading experts in life cycle analysis and environmental impact assessment, is designed to teach readers useful approaches, thought processes, and tips to help determine the environmental impact of a product or service. Topics covered in the book include life cycle assessment, tradeoffs, eco-labels, certifications, carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates, and the current status of the green marketplace.
  • Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life – Ed Begley Jr. -  A committed environmentalist for more than thirty years, Ed Begley, Jr., has always tried to “live simply so others may simply live.” Now, as more and more of us are looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet and live a better, greener life, Ed shares his experiences on what works, what doesn't–and what will save you money!
  • Omnivores Dilemma - Michael Pollan - examines what he calls "our national eating disorder" (the Atkins craze, the precipitous rise in obesity) in this remarkably clearheaded book. It's a fascinating journey up and down the food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a steak or decide whether to buy organic eggs. You'll certainly never look at a Chicken McNugget the same way again."
  • Plant - Janet Marinelli -  From cultivating plants that are on the international endangered list or already extinct in the wild, to avoiding invasive species, gardeners can play a vital role in conservation. A groundbreaking reference for both plant enthusiasts and gardeners, Plant is a new-generation encyclopedia designed to provide environmental and horticultural information so that gardeners can make the right decisions about what to grow in their gardens.
  • The Protein Church - Jason Drew & David Lorimer- Civilisation on the brink is a capitalist's tour of the environment. The authors reveal the hard facts of how environmental degradation is already affecting all of us from food price riots to the collapse of countries like Somalia. Water, land and sea combine to produce the food we eat and these natural resources have become critically degraded at a time when our expanding population needs them most, bringing us to The Protein Crunch
  • Slow Food Nation: Why Our Food Should be Gone, Clean, and Fair – Carlo Petrini -  The three central principles of the Slow Food plan are these: food must be sustainably produced in ways that are sensitive to the environment, those who produce the food must be fairly treated, and the food must be healthful and delicious. In his travels around the world as ambassador for Slow Food, Petrini has witnessed firsthand the many ways that native peoples are feeding themselves without making use of the harmful methods of the industrial complex. He relates the wisdom to be gleaned from local cultures in such varied places as Mongolia, Chiapas, Sri Lanka, and Puglia. Amidst our crisis, it is critical that Americans look for insight from other cultures around the world and begin to build a new and better way of eating in our communities here.
  • Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability – Michael K. Stone -  Smart by Nature shows how schools and districts across the country are orienting their activities around environmental responsibility and wisdom: in gardens and cafeterias, on campuses, with nature-based curriculums, and in the communities that surround their schools.
  • The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan -  Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers’ genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires—sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control—with the plants that satisfy them: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato. In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind’s most basic yearnings. And just as we’ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them. So who is really domesticating whom?

  • The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter - Ethicist Peter Singer collaborates with coauthor Jim Mason to analyze the food we buy and eat: where it comes from, how it is produced, and whether it was raised humanely. Together they explore the impact our food choices have on humans, animals, and the environment. 
  • The Overspent American - Harvard economist Juliet B. Schor explores why so many of us feel materially dissatisfied, why we work staggeringly long hours and yet walk around with ever-present mental "wish lists" of things to buy or get, and why Americans save less than virtually anyone in the world.
  • The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm – Amelia Saltsman -  The result is The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook, a celebration of the market s excellence and its hardworking farmers. What s the difference between white and green zucchini? What are amaranth, sapote, and ramps? With Amelia as your guide, you ll learn the answers to these questions and more. You'll also find advice on how to select and store produce, stories about farmers and their crops, chef and farmer cooking tips, and more than 100 of Amelia's simple, tempting recipes including: -- Fava Bean and Pea Shoot Salad -- Classic Tomato Soup with a Goat Cheese Swirl -- Black Cod with Green Tomatoes -- Roast Leg of Lamb with Oil-Cured Black Olives and Herbs -- Seared White Nectarines with Burnt Honey -- Meyer Lemon Sundaes with Cara Cara Oranges and Tangelos With a foreword by acclaimed cookbook author Deborah Madison
  • The Sharing Solution - Written by Janelle Orsi and Emily Doskow, The Sharing Solution guides you, in plain English, through the steps you’ll need to take to create and maintain successful sharing arrangements. From housing to childcare, cars to lawnmowers, gardens to bike repair, The Sharing Solution gives you the tips and tools to share your resources, while addressing commonly held questions about liability and individual security with compassion.
  • The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City – Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen -  This celebrated, essential handbook shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started homesteading immediately. The Urban Homestead is also a guidebook to the larger movement and will point you to the best books and Internet resources on self-sufficiency topics.

 

  • The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World – Leslie Garrett -  Sure, there are people who chain themselves to old-growth trees, raise their one child diaper-free, and make their own soap. The Virtuous Consumer is for the rest of us, struggling to make choices that are better for the planet and for us. Leslie Garrett has created a comprehensive reference guide that like a smart, funny, and eco-conscious friend will steer you toward ethical purchases for everything from lipstick to cars, kids' toys to a new mattress. The Virtuous Consumer is your key to shopping consciously and creating a simpler, greener lifestyle.
  • Tomatoland – Barry Estabrook -  Throughout Tomatoland, Estabrook presents a who's who cast of characters in the tomato industry: the avuncular octogenarian whose conglomerate grows one out of every eight tomatoes eaten in the United States; the ex-Marine who heads the group that dictates the size, color, and shape of every tomato shipped out of Florida; the U.S. attorney who has doggedly prosecuted human traffickers for the past decade; and the Guatemalan peasant who came north to earn money for his parents' medical bills and found himself enslaved for two years.
  • What's Mine is Yours - The Rise of Collaborative Consumption – Rachel Botsman -  A groundbreaking and original book, What’s Mine is Yours articulates for the first time the roots of "collaborative consumption," Rachel Botsman and Roo Roger's timely new coinage for the technology-based peer communities that are transforming the traditional landscape of business, consumerism, and the way we live.
  • World Changing: A User's Guide for the 21st Century – Alex Steffen - Five years after the initial publication of Worldchanging, the landscape of environmentalism and sustainability has changed dramatically. The average reader is now well-versed--even inundated--with green lifestyle advice. In 2011, green is the starting point, not the destination. This second edition of the bestselling book is extensively revised to include the latest trends, technologies, and solutions in sustainable living. More than 160 new entries include up-to-the-minute information on the locavore movement, carbon-neutral homes, novel transportation solutions, the growing trend of ecotourism, the concept of food justice, and much more. Additional new sections focus on the role of cities as the catalyst for change in our society. With 50 percent new content, this overhauled edition incorporates the most recent studies and projects being implemented worldwide. The result is a guided tour through the most exciting new tools, models, and ideas for building a better future.

 

Sustainable Lifestyle/Business Styles 

  • Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution - Edward Humes - What happens when a renowned river guide teams up with the CEO of one of the largest--and least Earth-friendly--corporations in the world? Nothing less than a green business revolution reveals Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Edward Humes in his arresting new book, FORCE OF NATURE: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution.  Humes, author of ECO BARONS, tells the inside story of the little-known and unlikely partnership between former Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott and white water expert-turned Blu Skye sustainability consultant Jib Ellison, and their struggle to redefine what it means to be green in the world of big business. Their efforts transformed a small project initially intended to insulate Wal-Mart from environmental criticism into a massive sustainability makeover, which now has snowballed beyond the retailer to influence whole industries, from apparel to dairy to banking. Now their fresh take on sustainability is empowering a virtual second industrial revolution based on a simple truth: that the clean, green, efficient, less-wasteful, less polluting way of doing business can also be the most profitable way of doing business.
  • Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing (Education for Sustainability Series, 3rd Edition) -  Doug McKenzie-Mohr and William Smith- Our consumption patterns are threatening to outstrip Earth's ability to support humanity and other species. A sustainable future will require sweeping changes in public behavior. While conventional marketing can help create public awareness, social marketing identifies and overcomes barriers to long-lasting behavior change. This ground-breaking book is the primary resource for the emerging new field of community-based social marketing, and an invaluable guide for anyone involved in designing public education programs with the goal of promoting sustainable behavior, from recycling and energy efficiency, to alternative transportation.
  • Social Marketing and Social Change: Strategies and Tools For Improving Health, Well-Being, and the Environment- R. Craig Lefebvre - How can we facilitate more effective, efficient, equitable and sustainable solutions to the problems that confound our communities and world? Social marketing guru R. Craig LeFebvre weaves together multi-level theories of change, research and case studies to explain and illustrate the development of social marketing to address some of society’s most vexing problems. The result is a people-centered approach that relies on insight and empathy as much as on data for the inspiration, design and management of programs that strive for changes for good. This text is ideal for students and professionals in health, nonprofit, business, social services, and other areas.
  • Social Marketing: Influencing Behaviors for Good - Nancy R. Lee and Philip A. Kotler - It provides a solid foundation of fundamental marketing principles and techniques then expands on them to illustrate principles and techniques specific to practitioners and agencies with missions to enhance public health, prevent injuries, protect the environment, and motivate community involvement. 
  • Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste - Bea Johnson - This book shares essential how-to advice, secrets, and insights based on Bea’s experience. She demystifies the process of going Zero Waste with hundreds of easy tips for sustainable living that even the busiest people can integrate: from making your own mustard, to packing kids’ lunches without plastic, to canceling your junk mail, to enjoying the holidays without the guilt associated with overconsumption. Zero Waste Home is a stylish and relatable step-by-step guide that will give you the practical tools to help you improve your health, save money and time, and achieve a brighter future for your family—and the planet.

 

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