Non-Fic Picks: Go Green!

Posted May 1, 2015

Sustainability is for everyone.  From using reusable water bottles to eating local food, we can make simple steps every day to live greener, cleaner, and healthier lives.  And, if you want to learn more about larger, imperative global issues here’s a few books to get you thinking…

Also, don’t forget to stop by and see us at the Conservation Fair tomorrow!  Hayley will be there to show you how to go paperless with e-books and digital magazines.

Earth: The Operators’ Manual by Richard B. Alley

Companion book to the PBS series, Earth: The Operator’s Manual combines both facts and stories to explore how humans have used energy throughout the centuries.  While mastering our energy sources- burning trees, whale oil, and fossil fuels, for example- we have simultaneously changed our environment by heating it up.  Alley, a geologist who has served on the U. N. climate change committee, stresses the importance of looking into alternative energy sources like wind, solar, sea, and geothermal powers.  Alley argues that a “measured transition” to curb carbon dioxide emissions will not only lead us to a more sustainable future, but also economic growth.  Informative yet easy to understand, Earth: The Operator’s Manual uses real world examples to get us thinking about climate change.

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes      

Did you know that the average individual produces approximately four pounds of garbage a day?  That’s over 102 tons of trash in a lifetime!  Well, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Edward Humes takes a look at the United States largest export—trash and how it came to be that way.  Travel to Puentes Hills outside of Los Angeles where there is a sixty-story garbage mountain.  Meet Zhang Yin, a Chinese entrepreneur, whose scrap paper collection has turned into a multi-million dollar enterprise.  Learn how the plastics industry has mass produced products that add to our already growing waste.  Garbology takes a close look at what trash to raise awareness in reducing our waste for a cleaner, greener world.         

The Natural Step for Communities: How Cities and Towns Can Change to Sustainable Practices by Sarah James & Torbjorn Lahti

The Natural Step for Communities provides over sixty examples of Swedish and North American practices for successful, sustainable communities.  For instance, the City of Stockholm leases alternative-fueled vehicles for city workers; Falkenberg constructed a windmill farm to harness natural energy and convert it to electricity; and the municipality of Pajala ran a village recycling competition.  Illustrating why sustainability is more than just a buzzword, Lahti carefully explores urban ecology to explain why a bottom-up, integrated approach will far surpass any single-issue initiative.  With clear a concept of sustainability, The Natural Step for Communities shows why well-intentioned proposals fail, but more importantly, how communities can emulate success.         

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