New books on Sustainability and the environment

This issue has a variety of resource books including an econest home, practiculture, sustainable gardening, natural homekeeping and new art projects which show respect for the environment.
A wide range of topics for those who wish to lead a sustainable life!

Syndetics book coverThe energy-freedom home : how to wipe out electricity and gas bills in nine steps / Beyond Zero Emissions.
“The average Australian household spends over $2,000 a year on gas and electricity bills. Now, not only can you reduce those bills, but you can even wipe them out, while making your home more comfortable. …There is already a quiet revolution under way as renewable energy and energy efficiency transform the way we generate and use electricity and gas. Over 1.4 million households in Australia now have rooftop solar – and, as a result, the costs of solar energy have plummeted, making it more accessible for the average home-owner. …The Energy-Freedom Home explains nine steps that can be taken – in any order – to become more energy efficient.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall house living / Catherine Foster.
“Smart, space-efficient houses are becoming the way of the future. Small House Living showcases an inspiring collection of homes measuring less than 90m2 from around New Zealand. Family homes, baches and apartments are included in the line-up; all of them demonstrating ingenious ways to reduce space and cut costs within a design-enriched environment. Small House Living is a book in tune with the current preoccupation with creating affordable housing solutions. Anyone interested in living well with less will find inspiration in the compact yet highly considered homes featured.” (Syndetics summary)

An interesting book from last year:
Syndetics book coverThe compost-powered water heater : how to heat your water, greenhouse, or building with only compost / Gaelan Brown.
“Here is a revolutionary approach for heating rooms and generating hot water. Author and compost-heat-recovery specialist Gaelan Brown has worked with engineers and compost scientists for years to refine methods of composting that can heat greenhouses, barns, buildings, and hot water, all without combustion.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverFood for thought : changing the world one bite at a time / Vanessa Kimbell ; photography by Laura Edwards.
“Inspired by ethically sourced, sustainable ingredients available from the average supermarket, Vanessa shows how what you cook can make a real difference to those who produce it and to the environment. Recipes are simple, unfussy and easy to cook at home – making everyday classics ethical and sustainable – with chapters focusing on Basics, Getting Ahead in the Kitchen, Simple Suppers, Feeding Children, Leisurely Weekend Food and Special Occasions. Let Vanessa inspire you to adapt the way you cook and change the world one delicious bite at a time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNatural processes in textile art : from rust dyeing to found objects / Alice Fox.
“Bring the rhythms of nature into your craft! More and more textile artists are using natural processes in their work, from dyeing with rust to incorporating found and scavenged items. This is the first book dedicated to this popular topic, with advice on how to work creatively with what’s close at hand. Bury your embroidery to give it a patina, make sun prints with found objects, and do “beachcombing weaving.” These projects, along with examples from the best contemporary artists, show respect for the environment, and capture a strong sense of place, calm, and contentment.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hands-on home : a seasonal guide to cooking, preserving & natural homekeeping / Erica Strauss ; photographs by Charity Burggraaf ; illustrations and lettering by Kate Bingaman-Burt.
“Create the DIY home you’ve always wanted with over 100 recipes, tips, and inspirational ideas from blogger Erica Strauss ( Northwest Edible Life ). Covering everything from cooking, canning and preserving to making your own nontoxic home and personal care products, this fresh take on modern homemaking wil help you make the most of your time, effort, and energy in the kitchen and beyond…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWill Bonsall’s essential guide to radical, self-reliant gardening / Will Bonsall.
“In Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don’t always make sense ecologically, and vice versa… For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs, Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture–not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA year of practiculture / Rohan Anderson.
“Rohan Anderson left his desk job in the city for the richer pleasures of living a simpler life on the land. Over the years he has developed his own principle of practical living. Practiculture is a lifestyle choice. It’s about direct involvement in the day to day elements of living, and at the heart of it, the rewarding choice to grow, hunt and forage beautiful, healthy, sustainable food.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe end of doom : environmental renewal in the twenty-first century / Ronald Bailey.
“In Ecoscam, Ronald Bailey strongly countered environmentalist alarmism, using facts to demonstrate just how wildly overstated many claims of impending ecological doom really were. Now, twenty years later, he is back to assess the future of humanity and the global biosphere. Bailey finds, contrary to popular belief, that many present ecological trends are quite positive. Including: Falling cancer incidence rates in the US, the likelihood of a declining world population by mid-century, the abundant return of agricultural land to nature. Global warming is a problem, but the cost of clean energy could soon fall below that of fossil fuels. In The End of Doom, Bailey avoids polemics and offers a balanced, fact-based and ultimately hopeful perspective on our current environmental situation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe econest home : designing & building a light straw clay house / Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert LaPorte.
“An EcoNest is not just a home–it is a breathtakingly beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This unique approach to construction combines light clay straw, timber framing, earthen floors, natural plasters, and other natural techniques with the principles of Building Biology to create a handcrafted living sanctuary. The EcoNest Home is an in-depth exploration of the benefits of choosing this technique over conventional alternatives, combined with a complete practical guide for prospective designers and builders…” (Syndetics summary)