Toolbox for Sustainable City Living

Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide

Sustainability is defined as the capacity to endure. In ecology the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. For humans it is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which in turn depends on the wellbeing of the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources.
Book Description:
With more than half the world’s population now residing—and struggling to survive—in cities, we can no longer afford to think of sustainability as something that applies only to forests and fields. We need sustainable living right where so many of us are: in urban neighborhoods. But how do we do it?

That’s where Toolbox for Sustainable City Living comes in. In 2000 the dynamic Rhizome Collective transformed an abandoned warehouse in Austin, Texas, into a sustainability training center. Here, with their first book, Scott and Stacy, two of Rhizome’s founders, provide city dwellers—those who have never foraged or gardened along with those who dumpster-dive and belong to CSAs—with step-by- step instructions for producing our own food, collecting water, managing waste, reclaiming land, and generating energy.

With vibrant illustrations created by Juan Martinez of the Beehive Collective and descriptive text based on years of experimentation, Stacy and Scott explain how to build and grow with cheap, salvaged, and recycled materials. More than a how-to manual, Toolbox is packed with accessible and relevant tools to help move our communities from envisioning a sustainable future toward living it.

Scott Kellogg a Stacy Pettigrew are co-founders of the Rhizome Collective, an educational and activist organization based in Austin, Texas, that recently received a $200,000 grant from the EPA to clean up a 10-acre brownfield that they are transforming into an ecological justice park. Toolbox developed out of R.U.S.T.—Radical Urban Sustainability Training—their intensive weekend seminar in urban ecological survival skills.

To me this is very exciting. People need to be taught because we as a global community have forgotten the simpelst of things due to technology. We need to get back to those do-it-yourself roots to save our world. All of our ancestors didn’t have the luxuries that we possess today. If something broke they had to figure out how to fix it. If they needed food they had to learn how to grow it. They obtained knowledge through actual physical activities. Their minds and bodies were constantly working to sustain themselves, their families and their future. This is a quality many of us lack but should return to. The idea of thinking about the future seems foreign in a day where instant gratification is a must. This book is an excellent start to learning how to mantain your surroundings in a way that will last without hurting the environment.

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