Getting A Grip 2

Getting A Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want is a revised edition of a book that addresses the common feeling that the planet is in trouble and we have little control over the outcome. Author Frances Moore Lappé tackles the issues of the world by acknowledging the problems and the overwhelming task of dealing with them, and then doesn’t waste any time offering up solutions.Click through for our full review…

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The Secret Life of Stuff

The underlying message in Julie Hill’s book, The Secret Life of Stuff: A Manual for a New Material World, is one of conscious simplification. Not one to slap the wrists of consumers, she professes a love of shopping and the joy she gets from the perfect “find” for pennies. She does, however, question the ways in which we currently try to “green” our buying habits.Click through for our full review…

No Impact Man

January 1 is the day most people stop to question their consumption levels and think about what is truly important in life. Writer Colin Beavan took a whole year to do this, along with his wife and toddler, as chronicled in No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process. In this witty and entertaining narrative, Beavan starts with producing no garbage, traveling carbon-free, eating low impact food, and buying only used items. He then progresses to using no electricity, conserving as much water as possible, and, finally, offsetting any remaining impacts through good works such as volunteering for an environmental group.

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The Story of Stuff


Leonard, a self-described “systems thinker,” aims to debunk the entrenched “growth at all costs” model. She does so by discussing the materials economy and its underlying paradigm of economic growth, but opts to not lay the blame with individuals or inspire feelings of guilt. … Readers, however, should not be misled by her bubbly prose: Leonard gets to the heart of serious subjects and exposes the inter-connectedness of today’s consumption, environmental, social and economic crises.
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Ecoholic Home

Ecoholic Home
Adria Vasil
Adria Vasil will have you laughing all the way to the bank with this delightful book stuffed full of tips on green products and green living. As part of Vasil’s wildly successful Ecoholic series, the book offers a wide-ranging­ resource for green-minded homeowners – from the best green cleaning products to those that are no better than a “spit on a rag,” and from banks that provide green mortgages to bedding materials that may be bathed in harmful chemicals. With a specific focus on Canadian products and services, Ecoholic Home provides everything you’ll need to achieve a greener home and lifestyle.

Social Change 2.0

Social Change 2.0
David Gershon
While a few readers may find David Gershon’s approach overly self-promoting – suggested resources all take you to his website’s order page – his experience­ in creating social transformation is authoritative­, and this book is a successful­ marriage of vision and pragmatism. Gershon balances principles and practices­, and highlights his ideas with stories of people­ in action. Social Change 2.0 emphasizes­ you, the reader, as the primary agent of change in the world. Each chapter ends with a useful set of questions that form a “practitioner’s guide” to further thinking.

Building Social Business

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs
Muhammad Yunus, New York: Public Affairs, 2010, 226 pages.

As one of the recipients of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Muhammad Yunus has often spoken out on the failure of the capitalist system to perform its duty to provide for the world’s poorest people.

In Building Social Business, Yunus expands on his self-proclaimed world-changing mechanism for social change that he introduced in an earlier book, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. He fleshes out the idea more fully in this work by not only defining social business clearly and providing examples of how it has been successful already, but … [Click here to read more!]

The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights

The Raw Milk Revolution: Behind America’s Emerging Battle Over Food Rights
David E. Gumpert
White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green, 2009, 288 pages

The Raw Milk Revolution, by David E. Gumpert, would more accurately be entitled “Milk Wars.” Any attempt to sell raw milk creates a froth of such proportions that we must conclude that it is symptomatic of something bigger.

The war is all about politics and ideology – about food control and food beliefs. So when battle lines are outwardly drawn around issues of food safety and the right of citizens to choose the food they want, it takes Gumpert’s sharp journalistic skills to uncover what risks to profits and livelihoods could lie beneath….[Click here to read more!]

Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?

Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?
Kate Bingaman-Burt
New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010

You don’t often come across a book of innocent-looking doodles that has the power to make you reflect on the deeper meaning of life. Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Obsessive Consumption does just that.

An assistant professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University, Burt documents her daily purchases of mundane everyday objects through a series of sketches. Depicting everything from credit-card statements to wedding bands, the endearingly cartoonish drawings are painfully honest and … [Click here to read more!]

Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why Our Food is Making Us Sick

Food in Canada has never been cheaper: only 10 per cent of our income is now spent in the grocery store, half of what this number was 40 years ago. Yet for most Canadians, decisions about what to eat have become a matter of high anxiety.

Dry Spring: The Coming Water Crisis of North America

Wood identifies two possible strategies to address our uncertain freshwater future. We can build more dams, reservoirs, river diversions, aqueducts, canals, pipelines, wells, recycling plants and desalination facilities. Alternately, “we can choose how we use what we have now.” The latter, an approach Wood advocates, involves changing the way we manage our watersheds; using ecologically sound appliances and irrigation techniques; and changing our markets, our bookkeeping, and the laws that undervalue this life- giving resource.

Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy

Perhaps it is the economic crisis. Maybe it is climate change, soaring extinction rates or the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor. Or then again, it could simply be the nagging sense among more and more people that the human project has somehow gone awry. Whatever the case, in recent years, we have witnessed an explosion of popular interest in books that question, even excoriate, the most fundamental assumptions of our current, growth-at-all-costs economic system.

Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster

In his newest book, Managing Without Growth, York University professor Peter Victor makes a convincing case that rich nations, such as Canada, can abandon economic growth as a national goal without compromising their citizens’ happiness. He suggests that helping developing nations approach the Western world’s standard of living would provide a better and safer future.