Friday, November 19, 2010

This Week I Will Pick Out One Book to Read on Sustainable Living

Many of us will be traveling or entertaining this week, so it’s probably a bad time to try changing major habits. However, with most everyone off for Thanksgiving, it’s a great time to read a book. I’m going to use this opportunity to get some more in depth information on environmental issues, seek out a new viewpoint and get some fresh inspiration. For this week, I’ve chosen to read Cradle to Cradle – Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. I picked this book because it keeps coming up in other contexts focusing on sustainability. Cradle to Cradle seems like it will offer a new, practical mindset that runs contrary to the current “throw it away” one. Written by an architect and a chemist, I’m looking forward to reading about their alternatives to built in obsolescence and toxic manufacturing processes. Interestingly, even the physical book itself is made of a new material that is “waterproof, extremely durable…(and) can be broken down and circulated infinitely in industrial cyclesmade or remade as ‘paper’ or other products.”

A couple of months ago, I read No Impact Man by Colin Beavan which was informative, extremely entertaining and well written. It’s the autobiographical account of how Colin, his wife and toddler lived with almost no environmental impact for a year. In Manhattan. I definitely recommend this for light reading on serious subjects.
If you’re not up to reading this week, just pick something out that seems interesting to you. Order it, download it or purchase it and save it for a better time.

If you’re not up to reading at all, try a video. There are some really great environmental documentaries on all kinds of subjects. There is a No Impact Man video that compliments the book, and it’s also very entertaining. I’m going to try to make time for An Inconvenient Truth. Yup, it’s supposed to be boring, but it’s supposed to be really good, too.

And if a documentary feels like too much, try one of The Story of Stuff Project’s You Tube videos. Or all of them. They’re cartoon-style shorts, loaded with information.

My goal for the week is to broaden my knowledge of environmental issues and/or deepen my understanding of specific issues. This week I’m going to read a book. If you join me, please let me know what you’ve chosen.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!


Sources for Environmental Books and Reading

“Tikkun Olam” means, in its most basic form, repairing the world. It is an ancient term from long before we worried about carbon emissions or mercury in our fish. It promotes the idea that we are the stewards of our planet and we that must be constant and vigilant in our responsibility. And not only must we take care of the Earth and seas and creatures, but we have to fix what is broken. And this is our job for as long as we are on this planet.

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