Urgency and optimism: Sustainability recent picks

Sustainability Recent Picks

via GIPHY


The recent addition of Wellington City Council’s household battery recycling trial has got us thinking about our sustainability goals for 2022. Below, you’ll find a curated reading list covering the environmental crisis (and what we can do about it), theories about creating a post-carbon society, community composting and recycling based family craft activities. Some of these items are on order, so they aren’t on the shelf yet, BUT you can reserve them through the catalogue today and be one of the first to read them!

Earthshot : how to save our planet / Butfield, Colin
“The Earthshot concept is simple: Urgency + Optimism = Action. We have ten years to turn the tide on the environmental crisis, but we need the world’s best solutions and one shared goal – to save our planet. It’s not too late, but we need collective action now. The Earthshots are unifying, ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for all of us, for the rest of life on Earth, and for generations to come.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Finding sustainability : the personal and professional journey of a plastic bag manufacturer / Romer, Trent A
“What if the foundation of your family business were threatened by something out of your control? What if the livelihood of 70 employees and their families were at stake, as the license to operate your business became called into question? What if 57 years of family history, grown through generations of hard work and sacrifice, were at risk of being lost? What if the reasons were actually one with which you fundamentally agreed? Journey to 8 states, 3 national parks and 3 countries to experience the life-changing education and adventures that led Trent A. Romer to finding sustainability for his plastic bag manufacturing business and himself.”–Page 4 of cover.” (Catalogue)

Sustainable Garden: Projects, tips and advice for the eco-friendly gardener / Boswall, Marian
“A stylish, inspirational and practical guidebook to creating and maintaining a more environmentally friendly outdoor space.” (Catalogue)

Energy transition and economic situation : food, transportation and education in a post-carbon society
“Is this the end of the world as we know it? Will the winding down of fossil-fuel consumption lead to radical changes in our lives? Or can we turn away from the climate crisis cliff while the industrial economy just keeps growing? Renewable energy sources have powered civilizations for nearly all of history and must do so again. But usable energy will become a more precious resource, as it was before our brief, explosive binge on the most easily accessible fossil fuels. In coming years we will have to recognize when “enough is enough.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Sustainable Kitchen: Projects, tips and advice to shop, cook and eat in a more eco-conscious way (Sustainable Living Series) / Moore, Sadhbh
“A positive, practical handbook on how to shop, cook and eat in the most important room in the home. Founders of the Sustainable Food Story, Abi and Sadhbh, have put together tips and step-by-step projects on how to adapt your kitchen habits to a more eco-friendly way of life.” (Catalogue)

Cardboard creations for kids : 50 fun and inventive crafts using recycled materials / Ho, Kathryn
“Eco-friendly cardboard crafts to make and play with”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Community-Scale Composting Systems: A Comprehensive Practical Guide For Closing The Food System Loop And Solving Our Waste Crisis / Mcsweeney,James
“Composting at scales large enough to capture and recycle the organic wastes of a given community, whether a school, neighborhood, or even a small city, is coming of age, propelled by a growing awareness not only of our food waste crisis, but also the need to restore natural fertility in our soils.” (Catalogue)

Buy Better Consume Less: Create Real Environmental Change / Conway-Wood, Sian
“How to spot greenwashing, stop consuming and demand a more sustainable future. Climate change is now a mainstream conversation topic, and yet every week our recycling piles are still overflowing and we’re faced with a steady stream of brands trying to persuade us to buy their eco-friendly products in our quest to live sustainably.” (Catalogue)

eLibrary spotlight: Environmental Studies in Context (Gale)

Image of a forest road with the Gale logo


Have you checked out our eLibrary resource Environmental Studies in Context? Provided by Gale, it is a database filled with curated, educational resources about the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues. Their collections are made up of accurate and peer-reviewed material,  and are created by a global network of scholars and educators.

This resource contains information on 446 issues related to Environmental Studies, spanning the agriculture industry, fast fashion, climate change and more. Gale has also included an in-built note-taking function, perfect for saving key quotes and research data for later. Environmental Studies in Context is the perfect place to deep dive into a new topic of interest, and is available for free with your Wellington City Libraries card. Login and start exploring through our eLibrary here.

Photo of wind turbines For instance, have you ever heard about the concept of green technology? Gale defines green technology as “technology that conserves energy while producing few or no emissions.”. The concept encompasses many types of technology, such as solar panels and electric cars, and aims to “harness power available in nature without destroying nature in the process”.

Green technology is not just a beacon of hope in terms of living sustainably on Earth, it has also led to scientists discovering creative solutions to other world problems. For example, green technology may be able to support parts of the world where the availability and reliability of electricity is currently lacking. It has also lead to advancements in food production; in the future, farmers will hopefully be able to utilise green technology to improve their irrigation systems and reduce food waste. 

For any passionate environmentalists who would like some book recommendations, we’ve also included a booklist below. Happy researching!

Salmon: A Fish, The Earth, And The History Of A Common Fate / Kurlansky, Mark
“In his new global food history, Mark Kurlansky says if we can save the salmon, we can save the world. Centuries of our greatest assaults on nature, from overfishing to dams, from hatcheries to fish farms, from industrial pollution to the ravages of climate change, can be seen in their harrowing yet awe-inspiring life cycle.” (Catalogue)

Environment Aotearoa : a collection of essays / Cleave, Peter
“This grew out of studies and discussions on the health of localities that I had been doing on the Manawatu River and on other places around New Zealand so the series was called Environment Aotearoa… This research, this thinking on the environment has, in the main, appeared since the turn of the century. Many of the ideas involved have been around for a lot longer but there is a fair bit of new writing in this mix and it came across to me at least as fresh and refreshing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Wild souls : freedom and flourishing in the non-human world / Marris, Emma
“From an acclaimed environmental writer, a groundbreaking and provocative new vision for our relationships with-and responsibilities toward-the planet’s wild animals […] When is it right to capture or feed wild animals for the good of their species? How do we balance the rights of introduced species with those already established within an ecosystem? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Climate Aotearoa : what’s happening & what can we do about it?
“Climate Aotearoa outlines the climate situation as it is now, and as it will be in the years to come. It describes the likely impact on the environment and on our day-to-day living situation. It suggests the changes you can make for maximum impact, what we should be asking of our government and what we should be asking of our business community. In doing so, this is a hopeful book – actions can make a difference.” — Publisher’s website.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Beloved beasts : fighting for life in an age of extinction / Nijhuis, Michelle
“A vibrant history of the modern conservation movement–told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it. In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement’s history” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The great derangement : climate change and the unthinkable / Ghosh, Amitav
“Is our imagination adequate to the realities of global warming? The novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that we need art and literature to help us imagine our future in the Anthropocene, but that they are falling short of the task. If culture cannot help us see the realities of our plight, then our era, which so congratulates itself on its self-awareness, may come to be known as the time of the Great Derangement.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Living with the anthropocene : love, loss and hope in the face of environmental crisis
“Australia — and the world — is changing. On the Great Barrier Reef corals bleach white, across the inland farmers struggle with declining rainfall, birds and insects disappear from our gardens and plastic waste chokes our shores. The 2019–20 summer saw bushfires ravage the country like never before and young and old alike are rightly anxious. Human activity is transforming the places we live in and love. In this extraordinarily powerful and moving book, some of Australia’s best-known writers and thinkers — as well as ecologists, walkers, farmers, historians, ornithologists, artists and community activists — come together to reflect on what it is like to be alive during an ecological crisis.” (Adapted from Catalogue)