Sunday, May 10, 2009

Radically Simple Sustainable Living (on the cheep!) and mostly at the library

I have been researching ways to reduce water and energy waste in my life. Elegantly.

Not with complicated stuff. Tanks aren't required to collect rainwater. Solar panels aren't necessary for capturing the sun's energy. Tanks and panels do have their place, but I lean towards cheap and easy.

By the way, I don't own any of the these books. Most are available at the San Antonio Public Library and the rest are available free through inter-library loan. Since I have several checked out, you may have to place them on hold for pickup (at your local branch - very cool!)

1. Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide by Scott Kellogg
The Rhizome Collective has done an impressive job of enacting simple permaculture and sharing it with the public. A phenomenal resource to calibrate your brain for true sustainable living.

2. Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands (Vol. 1): Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life And Landscape by Brad Lancaster
Brad is a charismatic rainwater guru from Arizona. I highly recommend you Google him and visit his site and watch the few videos of him. Simple changes in the contours of your yard can retain thousands of gallons of water.

3. Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood into a Community by Heather Coburn Flores
Maybe I am too demanding of the plants I put in the ground. Aren't beauty, oxygen production and shade enough to justify a few square inches and a splash of water? I lean towards plants that offer up some food for my family or my chickens. If it's a perennial, all the better!

4. The New Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building and Using Greywater Systems - Includes Branched Drains by Art Ludwig
Art has provided me with wise counsel - Slow Down! I look forward to water trees with my laundry water, but I don't want to burn out my washing machine or kill my trees. That would be counter-productive. Art provides the philospohy and the How-To for greywater reuse.

5. Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds for Domestic Supply, Fire and Emergency Use--Includes How to Make Ferrocement Water Tanks by Art Ludwig
Dee and I attended a Design-Build-Live rain jug workshop in Austin a few weeks ago. With a chicken wire, a bag of cement, a pinch of sand and a little bit of guidance means that you can make beautiful rain jars without a kiln or a potting wheel.

6. The Hand-Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage: The Real Goods Solar Living Book by Ianto Evans
I have been pulling up asphalt in my backyard to encourage water retention. Turns out my soil is clay. Bummer? Nope- I can build a house or an outdoor oven. Ianto's book leaves me with a sense of peace and purpose.

7. Builder's Greywater Guide: Installation of Greywater Systems in New Construction & Remodeling; A Supplement to the Book "Create an Oasis With Greywater" by Art Ludwig
This is a guide for those of you who want to have your greywater system installed with city permits. This won't make it a slam dunk, but your efforts will pioneer the way for others.

8. The Green Lifestyle Handbook by Jeremy Rifkin
1001 tips from many smart people. Edited by Jeremy Rifkin.

9. Builder's Guide To Hot - Humid Climates. by Joseph Lstiburek
Joe Lstiburek is a Building Science rock star with compelling, common sense approaches to Advanced Framing, Indoor Air Quality, and Building Envelopes. Why invite hot and humid air into my vented attic to condense on my nice cool ceiling or AC ducts? Lstiburek didn't invent this, but he's the one who presented it best! ( podcast was first.)

10. Entropy: A New World View by Jeremy Rifkin
A sobering and simple concept introduced to me in high school. I forget what the concept was, but I am fairly sure I was sober...

11. Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin
Cover crops and poultry. How to improve your soil and feed your chooks. I am hoping to cut back on buying feed!

12. Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Flock by Judy Pangman
"Fun ideas. I built mine from recycled louvered screens from a bungalow in Mahncke Park. Lots of plans for chicken tractors for those of you who aren't ready to let your chickens wander."

Adapted from an Amazon Listmania by SASL member Joe Barfield. Republished with his permission.

No comments:

Post a Comment