General ramblings

Summer Reading List…

August 5, 2013

Over the past few months, I have been expanding my mind with regards to all things sustainable, and have been doing a little light reading…
So, because it is summer, and there is the chance that some of you might be spending a couple of weeks reclining on sun-loungers with little else to do (!) here is my Summer Reading List for you 🙂
I have read/nearly read the first four on the list, and therefore feel qualified to give a very brief rundown. The rest are all ones I have on my ‘wish-list’ or have been recommended.

  • No Impact Man by Colin Beaven
    In 2007, Colin Beaven tried to live a year with out any environmental impact. Over the course of the year, he embraced Buying Nothing New, shopping locally and seasonally, and zero waste living, as well as giving up transport and even electricity! A more extreme form of My Make Do and Mend Year without a doubt, be it was really interesting to see that the conclusions he arrived at are similar to the ones I am coming to. He is now a sustainability Guru and is even running for Congress! Just goes to show you what one person can achieve
  • Not Buying It by Judith Levine
    This lady dropped out of consumerism for a year, and bought nothing, except food and ‘necessities’. So she didn’t just Buy Nothing New, she bought nothing. I was really excited by this book and to read about her journey, but found it really hard going by the end. It focusses very much on the psychology and science of shopping and consumerism, and not really at all on the practicalities. Still worth reading though
  • Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson
    I got this book in my Goody Bag from the Ecover Ethical Awards, and read it before giving it away in my fabulous Giveaway (!). It is an inspiring book if you want to keep the faith that there are other people out there, and big businesses out there, who are doing all that they can to minimise the impact of their businesses on the planet, and to maximise the impact of their businesses on the lives of the people on the planet
  • The Power of Just Doing Stuff by Rob Hopkins
    This is the man who ‘invented’ Transition. I have been very kindly gifted this book by Michael from Start UK-it arrived at the weekend, and I am reading it for as long as I can keep my eyes open each night (not that it is sending me to sleep-quite the opposite-it is brilliant, but that I am a sleep deprived mother of two small boys who struggles to stay awake past 10pm..)
  • Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
    I read the introduction to this (you can find it here) and then blogged about it when I talked about the FIVE R’s. I am really keen to get hold of a copy so I can read the whole book. If you too are waiting to get hold of the book, I would thoroughly recommend checking out Bea’s Zero Waste Home website, which also has a TIPS page to help you reduce the amount of rubbish you produce
  • The Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle-the creator of the Freeconomy
  • Cradle to Cradle-Re-Making the Way we Make Things by Michael Braungart and William McDonough
  • Plastic Free by Beth Terry-authour of the brilliant blog My Plastic Free Life
  • The Self-Sufficient-ish Bible by Dave Hamilton
  • The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard-I have already blogged about the brilliant 20 minute film of the same name
  • How I Lived a Year on just a Pound a Day by Kath Kelly
  • Enough-Breaking Free from the World of Excess by John Naish
  • Sew Your Own by J P Flintoff
  • Through the Eye of a Needle by J P Flintoff
  • The Secret Life of Stuff by Julie Hill

Phew!
That should keep us going for a while 🙂
Any other suggestions to add?
I really want to try and get hold of my own copy of each of these. Most of them are available secondhand on Amazon, but it somehow feels a little bit against the grain of My Make Do and Mend Year to just go and buy them from the Supermarket of Books.
If anyone has any copies of these that they have read and no longer want/need, then please let me know, and I will happily re-home them for you 😉

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  • Reply Homemade Kids… | My Make Do and Mend Year August 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    […] posted recently a Summer Reading List, of books about all things sustainable, and was contacted by a wonderful lady called Nicola Baird […]

  • Reply Emma Croft August 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I have the Secret Life of Stuff if you want to borrow it.

    • Reply Jen August 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      Fab, thankyou! Glad your comment posted this time 🙂

  • Reply Katrina Shaw August 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I’m still reading the “Screw Business As Usual” that I was lucky enough to win in your giveaway (thanks again Jen!) and I have to agree, it’s certainly an encouraging book to read. I’d recommend it x

    • Reply Jen August 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      Glad you are enjoying it Katrina!

  • Reply Zoe August 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I have ‘No Impact Man’ on my shelf and I have been meaning to read it for a while. Hopefully I will get on to that soon!

    • Reply Jen August 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Zoe
      I would definitely recommend it-very readable and inspirational!

  • Reply vivjm August 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Great list! I really enjoyed the JP Flintoff book (think the two titles are the same book, different publishers perhaps) and also his other little book “How to Change the World”, which I think you would like.

    • Reply Jen August 6, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Oh, thanks for letting me know-will amend and add the other book!

  • Reply Su August 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Given Amazon’s less than moral approach to tax paying, I would be less than happy about going down that route.

    • Reply Jen August 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

      I agree Su. Will see what other routes I can find!

  • Reply Su August 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    The self sufficientish bible is brilliant! Though at £25 it’s very pricey, I would see if you can get it from the library. I would offer to lend you my copy, but it’s very heavy and would cost a fortune to post. I haven’t read any of the others so can’t comment.

    • Reply Jen August 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Su. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a secondhand copy. Sarah from Everyday Life on a Shoestring managed to find one in a charity shop so I live in hope!!

      • Reply sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring August 6, 2013 at 9:18 am

        Correction, I wish I had found it in a charity shop but we got the Self Sufficientish Bible for a 40th birthday present, a few short years ago! There are some benefits to turning 40!! If it wasn’t so precious to Hubby I’d lend it to you. However I CAN lend you the Cath Kelly book some time (it’s currently on loan to someone else). It’s a much lighter read than the Judith Levine.

        • Reply Jen August 6, 2013 at 9:52 am

          I stand corrected Sarah! Oh well, I still live in hope of finding one 🙂
          I enjoyed the Judith Levine book but quite philosophical rather than practical, and I think the book kind of lost it’s way a bit towards the end!
          Are you coming to the Clean Bin Project screening at the end of the month? Could return your books then if you are 🙂
          If not, I will post them. Thankyou so much. x

  • Reply Zoe @ecothrifty August 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Wow – that list could keep me busy for a while!

    • Reply Jen August 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      It should indeed Zoe!

  • Reply homemadekids August 5, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve read a lot of these books – made my kids watch No Impact Man film recently using LoveFilm- but apologies have passed them on so can’t forward them to you. I think you should add my book “Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children” (Vermilion, 2010) as you might enjoy the zillions of interviews in it with other families who are adopting very green/sustainable/eco-bunny lifestyles. Definitely one for your local library – or i can send you one to read and then pass on to another of your readers…

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