Evolution is not simply of "only molecules," as Juan Enriquez an Steve Gullan explain in Evolving Ourselves. The surrounding environment may seriously influence the expression of the DNA that you (or any other living organism) were born with. As geneticist MD now like to say, nature loads the bullets (the genes) and nurture pulls the trigger (the expression of those genes). As we alter the environment by our actions and choices, humans influence the evolutionary direction of all life forms. From the human standpoint, this is good--technology has the possible to eliminate genetic disorders and even influence such scourges as the human obesity epidemic. Future humans could become great caretakers of the planet, as well as a more diverse, more resilient, gentler, and more intelligent species--but only if we make the right choices now.
Perhaps Fundamentals of Sustainable Living should be listed with books on Deep Ecology because sustainable living in a fundamental principle Deep Ecology. However, in this DVD course, Dr. Lonnie Gamble gives hands-on information about decreasing your ecological footprint, through do-it-yourself projects, product choices and use of major green technologies, such as the use of solar/wind energy, green building construction and adaptive lifestyles. Professor Green shows how we can have a sustainable lifestyle without giving up hot showers and cold beer. Some green steps are personal, others are communal and economic. We can live well without destroying our environmental support system.
Ever wonder where all that stuff that you sort and put at curbside for the recycle truck to take away in the morning goes? Adam Minter, a scion of the trash business and now journalist, tells you where in Junkyard Planet (Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade). Whereas the eco-activist recycles as a moral and spiritual act of devotion, the trash venders do it for profit. What Americans throw away provides feedstock for the growing economies of China and India, among others. Americans are, in effect, fueling their economic competition. Americans recycle for feel-good reasons; the trash collectors and vendors do it to make money. Overall, the result may be good because recycling trash prevents some environmental damage and provides a economic opportunity for workers in impoverished countries. (This book is an easy read and very suitable as an audio version.)
The Upcycle--Beyond Sustainable--Designing for Sustainability goes a level beyond Cradle to Cradle. In this newer book, McDonough and Braungart explain how materials (Earth's resources) can be used over and over without net loss and with constant improvement in the quality of the next item. It's all in the initial design of the process. Not only can materials be continually cycled through the economy but each successive item can be better than preceding. Upcycle planning allows progressive improvement in humanity's well being without exhausting finite resources, without damaging the environment and without production of polluting toxins. It sounds Utopian but upcycling has already begun following the design processes discussed in this book.
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things proposes to remodel the process of manufacturing from a cycle of "cradle to grave"--a one-way throughput--to a process emulating nature, where waste from one organism equals food for another organism. Recycling is not the answer--recycling is really down-cycling. What is needed is a closed-loop industrial cycles, where products, at the end of their useful lives, can serve as "biological nutrients" or "techinical nutrients" creating a new product without extraction of more natural resources and no production of toxic waste.
Nature's Operating Instructions features reports by scientific innovators on such diverse topics as biomimicry, living technologies and ecologically sound design, as well as essays by environmental visionaries. Twenty-six renowned authors have contributed to this second volume in Sierra Club Books' Bioneer Series.
"Judicious. clear. and more authorative than any other single book in print.Toxics A to Z is a realistic appraisal of the impact that everyday hazards have on our health. Few people reporting on pollution hazards are of John Harte's stature. Still fewer have surveyed and summarized virtually all the published research on the nature and impact of substances in the environment as Harte and his colleagues have done. And no scientific article is as easy to read or as comprehensible as this book."
Paul Ehrlich. Director. Center for Conservative Biology. Stanford University
"A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products". Many items you buy every day contain ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, breathing difficulty, dizziness, cancer, birth defects and other problems. This can comprehensive guide can help protect you from the negative aspects of technology.
"The Bioneers" presents the inspiring stories of 14 people at the cutting edge of technological innovation, social justice, and the natural world. These scientific and social innovators are helping to define an age founded in principles of kinship, interdependence, cooperation, and community.
Living machines--symbiotic technologies--that enhance both human well-being and the environment!
Nature offers countless examples of how to revolutionize our products and processes, without producing toxins and using large amounts of energy. Biomimicry is a book about observation, vision and hope.
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. Paul Stametz teaches us about the amazing properties of fungi--their ability to communicate, their sometimes immense size despite being almost invisible to humans and their ability to decompose and detoxify wastes. Learn how fungi can make the world a better place!