Grassroot Beginnings: New Sustainability Books

Small sustainable ideas have the potential to grow into a global movement. This can all be started at a grassroot level, with the help of your family, neighbourhood or local community. Get inspired by others changing the world with our new sustainability books:

Just transformations : grassroots struggles for alternative futures
“The need for a radical societal transformation in the interests of social justice and ecological sustainability has never been greater. But where can we turn to find systemic alternatives? Just Transformations looks to local environmental struggles for the answers. Interrogating each case study for valuable lessons, the contributors develop a conceptualisation of a just transformation that focuses on the changes that communities themselves are trying to produce.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

How to create things for the world sustainably / K, Sarah
“A practical guide for anyone who designs or creates things for the world to achieve sustainable outcomes. Illustrated with the beautiful, photographic documentation from over a decade of Sarah K’s sustainable design initiative, supercyclers.” (Catalogue)

Ignition : lighting fires in a burning world / O’Connor, M. R.
“In a riveting investigation of the science and ecology of wildfires, journalist M.R. O’Connor ventures into some of the oldest, most beautiful, and remote forests in North America to explore the powerful and ancient relationship between trees, fires, and humans. At the heart of Ignition is a discussion about risk and how our relationship to it as a society will determine our potential to survive the onslaught of climate change.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Looking after the future: New sustainability books

Sustainability is about creating practices that are long lasting, that are not only beneficial to the environment but also to all in our society. We can power our economy, infrastructure and wider community through sustainability. Within these selected new books, we can learn about structural changes and small actions we can take to build a better tomorrow.

Design for a better world : meaningful, sustainable, humanity centered / Norman, Donald A
“How human behavior brought our world to the brink, and how human behavior can save us. Design for a Better World presents an eye-opening diagnosis of where we’ve gone wrong and a clear prescription for making things better. His experience as both a scientist and business executive gives him the perspective to show how to make these changes while maintaining a thriving economy.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The connected species : how the evolution of the human brain can save the world / Williams, Mark A.
“This book argues that by understanding human connection, we can work together toward a less divided, more sustainable, future.” (Catalogue)

How infrastructure works : inside the systems that shape our world / Chachra, Deb
“Infrastructure is a marvel, meeting our basic needs and enabling lives of astounding ease and productivity that would have been unimaginable just a century ago. Chachra maps out a path for transforming and rebuilding our shared infrastructure to be not just functional but also equitable, resilient, and sustainable. We need to learn how to see them–and fix them, together–before it’s too late.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Spilling the beans on our new sustainability books

This month we have new books spilling the beans (but not letting them go to waste!) on how to eat sustainably. We can learn about the journey our fruits and vegetables take to get from the tree to our plate in Avocado Anxiety. If we want to grow our own food, there are many books to choose from, like The Sustainable Homestead or A Conscious Garden. If we want to see the bigger picture, we can learn about the mechanism of the food industry that impacts the world in Ravenous. Check them out now:

The sustainable homestead : create a thriving permaculture ecosystem with your garden, animals, and land / Ferraro-Fanning, Angela
“Whether you’re just dreaming, working on site selection, or an experienced homesteader, The Sustainable Homestead is the go-to resource to bring permaculture techniques to your crops, animals, and more.” (Catalogue)

Avocado anxiety : and other stories about where your food comes from / Gray, Louise
“How do we stop worrying about our food choices and start making decisions that make a difference? Through visits to farms, interviews with scientists and trying to grow her own, Louise Gray digs up the dirt behind organic potatoes, greenhouse tomatoes and a glut of courgettes.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sustain : groundbreaking recipes and skills that could save the planet / Barrett, Jo
“Sustain: Groundbreaking Recipes And Skills That Could Save The Planet features over 90 recipes across 30 meals mastering a series of skills, which lead to a more sustainable kitchen.” (Catalogue)


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Everyday Sustainability: Recent picks

What can we do to help fight climate change? It’s a very daunting question for anybody! We may not be able to solve it overnight, but by making small changes in our day-to-day life and being aware of what’s going on in the world, we can feel less overwhelmed. These new books cover a variety of climate actions from cooking sustainably or making your own clothes to learning from the Dalai Lama and Greta Thornberg.

A good appetite : eating for planet, body and soul / Chandler, Jenny
“A Good Appetite is packed with practical information and recipes for making the way you shop and cook more planet-friendly. There are brilliant bite-sized guides to everything from eating with the seasons, batch cooking and the best ways to use your freezer to foraging and growing some of your own food. By avoiding food waste and stretching expensive ingredients, there’s a payoff for your pocket too.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Great stories of New Zealand conservation / Froggatt, Alan
“New Zealand has an extraordinary range of plants and animals, yet a great many species are trending towards extinction. Great Stories of New Zealand Conservation tells 50 inspiring and thought provoking stories, covering all matter of conservation and ecological projects from right across the motu. Some of the projects have been driven by national organisations, such as saving the kakapo and the yellow eyed penguin.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A future we can love : how we can reverse the climate crisis with the power of our hearts & minds / Bauer-Wu, Susan | Also available as an eBook
“Filled with the Dalai Lama’s hard-earned wisdom, Greta Thunberg’s piercing focus, and dozens of accessible practices of climate activism and personal resilience, this book offers a path not just out of inaction but toward a future we can love.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


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Life on the rocks: Recent books on sustainability

Here are some of our recently acquired books related to sustainability and the environment. Below, you’ll find books about green urban transport and architecture, saving our coral reefs, travelling the world in a more eco-friendly way and avoiding sustainable consumption.  

Post-Growth Living: For an Alternative Hedonism: For an Alternative Hedonism / Soper, Kate
“An urgent and passionate plea for a new and ecologically sustainable vision of the good life.The reality of runaway climate change is inextricably linked with the mass consumerist, capitalist society in which we live.” (Catalogue)

The art of gifting naturally : simple, handmade projects to create for friends and family / Maynard, Angela
“The Art of Gifting Naturally is a unique and contemporary guide to the joy of making gifts by hand. Inspired by the seasons, Angela Maynard showcases more than 25 inspiring projects that are easy to make and perfect to gift to friends and family. From soothing skincare and fragrance to jam-making and natural dyeing, Angela shows us ways to reconnect with nature and reflect its importance in gift-giving.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The bucket list eco experiences : traveling the world, sustaining the Earth / Kinsman, Juliet
“A bucket list focused on sustainable travel featuring 1,000 vacation ideas that are eco-friendly, respectful of local cultures, and highlight opportunities to give back”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Life on the rocks : building a future for coral reefs / Berwald, Juli
“Coral reefs are a microcosm of our planet: wondrously diverse, deeply interconnected, and critically imperiled. They sustain entire ecosystems and protect vulnerable coasts. But corals across the planet are in the middle of an unprecedented die-off, beset by warming oceans, pollution, human damage, and their own devastating pandemic […] Life on the Rocks is a meditative ode to the reefs and the undaunted scientists working to save them against almost impossible odds.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Image sourced from City: Supergreen Buildings, Urban Skyscapes and the New Planted Space / Yudina, Anna
“A spectacular global survey of the new buildings merging architecture and nature to transform our cities for a sustainable future.” (Catalogue)

Faster, smarter, greener : the future of the car and urban mobility / Sumantran, V.
“A call to redefine mobility so that it is connected, heterogeneous, intelligent, and personalized, as well as sustainable, adaptable, and city-friendly […] this book, by three experts from industry and academia, envisions a new world of mobility that is connected, heterogeneous, intelligent, and personalized (the CHIP architecture). ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Author Interview: Ingrid Horrocks

Dr Ingrid Horrocks is a writer whose work spans poetry, travel, environment, and community. She is a lecturer in creative writing at Massey University.

Where We Swim is her account of setting out to chronicle a solo swimming journey, only to switch streams to a different kind of swimming altogether — one which led her to examine relationships, our ecological crisis, and responsibilities more deeply to collective care. Where We Swim ranges from solitary swims in polluted lakes and rivers in Aotearoa New Zealand, to swims in pools in Medellín, Phoenix and the Peruvian Amazon, and has been called “beautiful, surprising, mysterious, deep and reflective”.

As an accompaniment to this exceptional book, we recently had the pleasure of interviewing Ingrid  in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. The interview was conducted by Caffeine and Aspirin host Liam Wild.

And below is the podcast of that interview for your enjoyment:

Travelling with Augusta : Preston, Gorizia, Venice, Masterton : 1835 & 1999 / Horrocks, Ingrid
“The story of two journeys made in the Adriatic regions of present-day Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, one made in 1835, the second in 1999.” (Adapted from Catalogue)



Mapping the distance / Horrocks, Ingrid
“This superb collection of poems shows the benefit of ten years gestation. The major part of the book consists of poems coming from years spent living and studying overseas and then settling back in New Zealand and starting a family. With its broad scope and variety of lyric styles, Mapping the Distance is a landmark book.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook. 


Extraordinary anywhere : essays on place from Aotearoa New Zealand
“This collection of personal essays, a first of its kind, re-imagines the idea of place for an emerging generation of readers and writers. It offers glimpses into where we are now and how that feels, and opens up the range and kinds of stories we can conceive of telling about living here. Contributors include Tony Ballantyne, Sally Blundell, Alex Calder, Annabel Cooper, Tim Corballis, Martin Edmond, Ingrid Horrocks, Lynn Jenner, Cherie Lacey, Tina Makereti, Harry Ricketts, Jack Ross, Alice Te Punga Somerville, Giovanni Tiso, Ian Wedde, Lydia Wevers, and Ashleigh Young.” (Catalogue)

Where we swim / Horrocks, Ingrid
“Part memoir, part travel and nature writing, this book is about being a daughter, sister, partner, mother and above all a human animal among other animals”–Back cover.” (Adapted from Catalogue)