Sustainability and the Environment

Attempting to live a sustainable life-style? Our selection this time includes Homesteading, Foodscaping, using renewable energy, composting, foraging and also finding art supplies from the natural world. Something for everyone!

Syndetics book coverHomesteading : a backyard guide to growing your own food, canning, keeping chickens, generating your own energy, crafting, herbal medicine, and more / edited by Abigail R. Gehring.
“Who doesn’t want to shrink their carbon footprint, save money, and eat homegrown food whenever possible? Even readers who are very much on the grid will embrace this large, fully illustrated guide on the basics of living the good, clean life. Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or even the wilderness, there is plenty you can do to improve your life from a green perspective. Got sunlight? Start container gardening. With a few plants, fresh tomato sauce is a real option with your own homegrown fresh tomatoes. Reduce electricity use by eating dinner by candlelight (using homemade candles, of course). Learn to use rainwater to augment water supplies. Make your own soap and hand lotion. Consider keeping chickens for the eggs…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe garden forager / Adele Nozedar ; illustrated by Lizzie Harper.
“In high-end restaurants and in the home, more and more cooks have discovered the joy of using natural, foraged ingredients. But, what few realise is that you don’t necessarily have to go rootling in hedgerows or woodlands to find them. Many of our own gardens contain an abundance of edible and medicinal plants, grown mainly for their ornamental appearance. Most gardeners are completely unaware that what they have actually planted is a rather exotic kitchen garden. The Garden Forager explores over 40 of the most popular garden plants that have edible, medicinal or even cosmetic potential, accompanied by recipes, remedies, and interesting facts, and illustrated throughout in exquisite watercolours by Lizzie Harper. This beautifully illustrated book redefines how we look at our gardens and unleashes the unknown potential of everyday plants – making it a must-have for anyone interested in gardening, cooking, or foraging.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFoodscaping : practical and innovative ways to create an edible landscape / Charlie Nardozzi.
“…Foodscaping is what it sounds like – a combination of landscaping and food… Incorporating food-bearing plants as hedgerows and barriers or in small spaces, containers, window boxes and many more ideas allow you to expand the types of plants you can use and even extend your growing season! For example, blueberry bushes provide not just fruit, but also wonderful fall color. Arbors and pergolas are perfect supports for edible plants and even simplify harvest. Squash and cabbage have attractive, interesting leaf textures, so they can be a part of the ornamental garden. Foodscaping also goes beyond mere plant selection. The basics of gardening, planting, pruning, dealing with pests, watering, feeding, and harvesting are all covered in detail, ensuring your success in creating a beautiful, edible landscape for your home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe organic artist : Make your own paint, paper, pens, pigments, prints, and more from nature / Nick Neddo.
“”It’s time to go back to basics! If you’re interested in art, but find that it’s becoming an increasingly expensive hobby, The Organic Artist is just the book for you! It encourages us all to return to those days when art was made with all-natural materials, such as charcoal and birch bark. Immersing you in the natural world, The Organic Artist seeks to inspire creativity by connecting you to your organic roots. In addition to offering a wide variety of suggestions for using nature as supplies for art, this book also introduces the concepts of awareness and perception that are foundational to the creative process. Readers will refine drawing skills, as well as increase their appreciation for the visual arts and the natural landscape. Some of the projects and skills covered include the following: making paper and wild ink, working with soapstone, clay, wood, and rawhide, printmaking and stenciling, natural pigments and dyes, camouflage and body painting, and nature journaling”– Provided by publisher.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe renewable energy home handbook : insulation & energy saving, living off-grid, biomass heating, wind turbines, solar electric PV generation, solar water heating, heat pumps, & more– / Lindsay Porter.
The Renewable Energy Home Handbook is biased towards the practical, and covers the installation of all leading types of alternative domestic energy sources – from ground- and air-source heat pumps, PV solar electricity generation and solar water heating, to bio-mass domestic heating systems and wind turbines. Discussing the pros and cons of each technology, it also provides you with a clear overview of what’s genuinely required and the benefits to be gained from each system. The author, Lindsay Porter, is best known for his books on motor vehicle technology, making car mechanics and body repairs easy to understand and carry out. But alternative energy and conservation have long been a passion for him and his wife, Shan, so this manual is very much a labour of love. Here, Lindsay applies his commitment to making difficult subjects easy for everyone to understand to the money-saving – planet-saving – systems we can apply to our homes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomemakers : a domestic handbook for the digital generation / Brit Morin.
“…Over the past three generations, the rules of homemaking and our very notions of what a homemaker is and does have radically changed. We are still a nation of makers, but we are crafting and creating beyond the home, in both the analog and digital worlds. And in the next ten years, “making” and “homemaking” will evolve further. Tomorrow’s women will find themselves actually manufacturing everything from decor to clothing, from right inside their homes. In Homemakers, Brit Morin, founder of the wildly popular lifestyle brand and website Brit + Co., reimagines homemaking for the twenty-first century. While today’s generation thrives in the virtual world, they like to work and create in the physical world…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCompost city : practical composting know-how for small-space living / Rebecca Louie.
“Millions of city dwellers want the real dirt on composting. Whether they’re staunch environmentalists or urbanites touting green as the new black, folks who compost are the latest force joining backyard chickeners, balcony beekeepers, and community gardeners in helping cities get down to earth. Packed with research, expert testimonies, and a healthy dose of humor, Compost City gives us essential strategies on composting in small, shared, diversely crowded spaces… From hobbyists in studio apartments to activists on rooftop farms, Compost City serves the millions of curious, adventurous, and/or eco-minded people who care about going green but feel limited by their limited space.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGardening on a shoestring : 100 ways to creative a garden on a budget / Alex Mitchell ; photography by Sarah Cuttle.
“In our increasingly busy and chaotic world, more and more of us are turning to gardening as a way to create a pleasant space to be in. However, as we continue to tighten our purse strings, the cost can make the pastime a source of further stress rather than one of pleasure. Alex Mitchell’s Gardening on a Shoestring is full of inventive ways to achieve the garden you want on a budget, whether you are creating one from scratch or improving what you already have. Packed with money-saving tips, it combines classic gardening skills with simple, creative ideas. Sometimes it’s about going back to the old ways of doing things, techniques in danger of being forgotten; other times it’s about adapting to the new, saving money on equipment by making your own from inexpensive materials or knowing how to get bargains from nurseries and garden centres. So learn how to prune before you panic buy, grow food for peanuts, create pots for a pittance, propagate plants for nothing and make your own plant feed from weeds – all for next to nothing.” (from Amazon.co.uk)