Sunday, 19 September 2010

Books and Seeds

I have recently been doing a bit of reading.

Requiem for a Species by Clive Hamilton offers a very honest look at the reality facing us and questions why we do not face up to it. The book seems to me to draw on the work of Joanna Macy and others in accepting despair and utilising it as a way of inspiring action, it is a timely reminder of the scale of the oncoming crisis and the necessity for action.

In attempting to reduce my own footprint, I have recently found the following three books especially good.

How Bad are Bananas by Mike Berners-Lee gives you the carbon footprints of many common items and actions, from sending a text (0.014g CO2e) to buying a pint of milk (723g CO2e).

In The Economical Environmentalist, Prashant Vaze (a very experienced environmental economist) documents his attempt to transition to a low carbon lifestyle and what it cost. The book has lots of useful data and resources.

The Garden Cottage Diaries by Fiona J. Houston documents her experience living a year as if in the 1790s. It is well researched and full of information on useful and interesting skills such as making rush-lights and has information on seasonal veg and traditional recipes. In considering the fragility of our modern lifestyle, and the transition to lower impact communities, it is valuable to get an idea of alternative ways and to see what traditional skills and methods can be used.

One other resource I have found very useful, is the seed company More Veg www.moreveg.co.uk .
They do small quantity veg and fruit seed packets (including organic and heritage varieties). Their website has an excellent seasonal veg planner and their customer service is good.

I am sharing these in the hope that they may be useful to others. If anyone else has found any other resources particularly useful, please share them in the comments.

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