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Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide Paperback – June 15, 2008


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Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide + The Urban Homestead (Expanded & Revised Edition): Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (Process Self-reliance Series) + Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills (DIY)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896087808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896087804
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 8.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew, co-founders of the Rhizome Collective, a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas, have extensive experience in the fields of ecological design and community activism. They have authored numerous articles on sustainability and the Rhizome Collective and frequently give presentations on radical sustainability at universities and political gatherings across the country. Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew, co-founders of the Rhizome Collective, a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas, have extensive experience in the fields of ecological design and community activism. They have authored numerous articles on sustainability and the Rhizome Collective and frequently give presentations on radical sustainability at universities and political gatherings across the country. Juan has worked for the past six years to produce illustrations as part of the beehive collective and travelled throughout the Americas to present and research his artwork.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Very practical and easy to follow guidelines.
Aome
This book is full of practical step-by-step methods of developing a sustainable practice at your home or organization.
H.Couch
A must have for anyone wanting to lighten their foot print!
www.SustainableResourceManagementInc.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Grant Smith on September 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When searching for books on sustainability its easy to find books heavy on opinion while practical application books are few and far between. This is one of the latter, a very accessible project oriented guide to making changes in the way we act. This book is filled with small scale systems that provides a great starting point for people who want to make actual change in their lives and not just read environmental theory, as great as that may be. The real gem in this book is the well organized bibliography, as many of the projects I would feel more comfortable completing with more detailed background knowledge of the processes going on, which is of course beyond the scope of this publication. Not to downplay the information contained in the book itself, which is awesome.
The key to making change is to make small changes, baby steps, slowly building your new lifestyle. I started with the vermicompostig, which is pretty tame, and moved on from there. Good Luck!
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Duggan on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found "ToolBox.." to be a quick and enjoyable read, however, when it came to the details of implementing described projects I found limited information. Don't get me wrong, I do not regret purchasing the book, I was just expecting more guidance on specific projects. For instance, when I started reading the energy chapter, I got really excited when there was a discussion on a "bicycle wind mill", however, after a brief description of the design, the authors quickly moved on to another idea. I was also hoping for some design ideas utilizing bicycle "human powered" generators or such. Strong points that I will mention about the book, are the really good descriptions of graywater harvesting and filtering systems. In all, very informative, but do not expect it to provide all the answers.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By theabster on February 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wow this little book has a lot of information in it! A lot more than I bargained for, actually. I was interested in doing a little "urban farming" in the form of apartment-gardening and helping friends plant food on the unused hill behind their house, maybe starting a compost heap. But this book covers everything from constructing a homemade "wetland" for filtering household water, to recycling human waste (see the hilarious section on the Mobile Composting Toilet!), and so much more. It's not just about taking small steps to get yourself off the grid, it covers comprehensive ways to move communities off the grid entirely--which, the book explains, may become necessary in the not-so-distant future. Frank and crisp in style, and completely without condescension or hysteria, the book describes in clear terms what we can expect in the future if our current systems persist, and how to start making our homes and communities sustainable, equitable and autonomous. While I can't see myself putting all of it to use (there is a section on cultivating insects for chicken feed, making me relieved to retreat into vegetarianism), I felt vastly more aware when I'd finished it, in addition to learning a few things I will try.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Richardson on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is everything it promises. After reading it I felt that I could begin projects that would bring me closer to sustainability.

The explainations and diagrams seemed simple and affordable.

This book is the answer to the question, 'What can I do right now?'

Thank you for this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Deb Nam-Krane VINE VOICE on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Here's the rub: a city dweller, especially an apartment dweller, is almost always using fewer resources to heat and cool their homes. We (yes, I'm a city dweller) have more options for public transportation and we also tend to walk more. But our spaces aren't nearly as green (literally, green), and many of our buildings tend to be inefficiently constructed. We also tend not to have as much access to fresh produce, if for no other reason than that our soils are deficient and sometimes toxic. It's very easy to feel impotent to change any of these things when we are "city-locked".

This guide is for people who already see the need to make a change. Although they provide some information as to why city dwellers and everyone else should try to live sustainably, it's not exhaustive. However, they do give some information that isn't common knowledge (or at least getting talked about as much). I didn't realize the extent to which urban soils were depleted, and I didn't realize that we were going to approach "peak uranium" in 50 years at the rate we're going. Not that I was ever a proponent of nuclear power, but now the building of new nuclear power plants seems even more ridiculous. Also, although everyone is going to be squeamish when it comes to the subject of human waste, it's pretty hard to deny the need to do something along those lines when the authors explain how inefficient, wasteful and polluting the current sewage process is.

The book is divided into strategies and techniques for Food, Water, Waste, Energy and Bioremediation (bringing soils back to life). I'm not the expert, but it seemed that they tried to list out solutions that could work reasonably well in an urban environment on a small scale.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on February 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of books on being green and living lightly on the earth and I've found the Toolbox for Sustainable City Living (TfSCL) to be one of the best and most comprehensive intro books on sustainable living, especially in the cities where more than 50% of the world's people live. So many other books strike a tone that makes me feel hopeless and intimidated, especially because I am not likely to ever have 3 acres of land for a Mother Earth News style homestead.

Yet, the condition of the world's economy and the effects of peak oil clearly show that the time to act is now!

Scott and Stacy have a style and the content that makes me feel ready to try things like vermicomposting. Yes, it's true that there are only 3.5 pages on vermicomposting in the book and I still have a lot to learn from the references noted in the Toolbox for Sustainable City Living. Yet, the motivation to get up and try it is really important. In fact, I'm planning to buy worms today! :)

Also, Scott and Stacy offer workshops called Radical Urban Sustainability Training (R.U.S.T.). My husband and I attended one in Albany, NY last Fall and we highly recommend it!
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