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*CCPL Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend!*

Stuck at home and looking for something new to read? Check out CCPL’s recommendations for some great books on Sustainable Living on Hoopla. These publications were chosen for their quality of content and accessibility in digital format – so you do not have to leave home to enjoy these great reads! 

Sustainable Living by Juliana Burkhart

As concerns over the environment increase, more people are looking for alternative sources of energy and other ways to “go green.”

Solar Power For Sustainable Living by Sustainable Stevie

What to Consider Before Going the Do It Yourself Solar Route

NOTE: This book is written for those CONTEMPLATING getting a solar panel system if they don’t know enough about it yet. A good, basic understanding of what you need to know “before” diving into it is what you will learn in order to make an informed decision; especially if you are in the United States (or Canada). So if you are considering do it yourself solar panels for your home, or solar panel installation through a contractor, “Solar Power for Sustainable Living – What to Consider Before Going the Do It Yourself Solar Route” is a great reference guide to make sure you’ve considered the most important avenues or prerequisites of getting into do-it-yourself solar panels before you get started and then realize that you should’ve considered these aspects first, which are very important in decision making. It is informative and detailed to give you a good understanding of how it all works and what’s really involved when it comes to obtaining a PV solar power system for sustainable living. Charts and illustrations are also included for easy reference. You’ll get information, terminology, advice, things you’d better be aware of or consider beforehand, education, valuable tips that’s going to literally help you, what exact items you’ll need to buy and what it cost, how to connect with other people doing the same thing that you are (which is huge), and much more. If you need to find out what the latest and up to date information is for what your state (in USA) is currently offering for rebates and incentives on using solar power for your home or office, there’s a reference conveniently provided. There’s also reference to a handy calculator that you can use to help estimate the size and cost of installing a PV system. For the US and CANADA, going by zip code, just in case you need to check out or prescreen solar contractors in your area to get an estimate or just to ask some questions, there’s a reference that provides that information as well.

Sustainable Living by Harriet Brundle

Part of the Environmental Issues series

What is sustainable living, and how does it benefit our environment? These questions and more are answered in this volume about living an environmentally friendly life. Young readers will learn how to think critically about their own carbon footprint. They’ll be inspired to use and re-use recycled materials, and choose renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels. Interesting fact boxes, a detailed glossary, and bright, full-color photographs provide additional information about this essential environmental topic. Young readers who are passionate about environmental conservation will enjoy this engaging resource.

Permaculture For The Rest Of Us by Jenni Blackmore

Abundant Living On Less Than An Acre

Many of us want to increase our self-sufficiency, but few have access to the ideal five sunny, gently sloping acres of rich, loamy, well-drained soil. Jenni Blackmore presents a highly entertaining, personal account of how permaculture can be practiced in adverse conditions, allowing anyone to learn to live more sustainably in a less-than-perfect world. With a rallying cry of “If we can do it, you can too,” she distills the wisdom of twenty years of trial and error into a valuable teaching tool. The perfect antidote to dense, high-level technical manuals, Permaculture for the Rest of Us presents the fundamental principles of this sometimes confusing concept in a humorous, reader-friendly way. Each chapter focuses on a specific method or technique, interspersing straightforward explanations with the author’s own experiences. Learn how to successfully retrofit even the smallest homestead using skills such as: • No-till vs. till gardening, composting, and soil-building • Natural pest control and integrating small livestock • Basic greenhouse construction • Harvesting, preservation, and more… Ideal for urban dreamers, suburbanites and country-dwellers alike, this inspirational and instructional “encouragement manual” is packed with vibrant photographs documenting the author’s journey from adversity to abundance. Jenni Blackmore is a farmer, artist, writer and certified Permaculture Design Consultant who built her house on a rocky, windswept island off the coast of Nova Scotia almost twenty-five years ago and has been stumbling along the road to self-sufficient living ever since. A successful micro-farmer, she produces most of her family’s meat, eggs, fruit, and vegetables, in spite of often-challenging conditions.

Mini Farming by Brett L. Markham

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre-and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require. Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-sufficiency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.

An Almost Zero Waste Life by Megean Weldon

What is zero waste living? Although the practice has been around for generations out of necessity, it is making a comeback as concerns grow about the fate of our environment. To put it simply: it is attempting to send no waste to landfills. Although you may have read or heard about “zero waste,” “sustainable,” or “green” living, the concept can sometimes seem too complicated, the author’s tone a bit self-righteous, or riddled with advice geared for people with 5 acres of land in the country with dreams of raising livestock and homesteading. This is not that book.

Can a “regular” person do this? Absolutely! Zero waste isn’t necessarily about zero, but more about changing or altering the way we see the world around us, how we consume, and how we think about waste. It’s about making better choices when we can, and working to reduce our overall impact by reducing the amount of packaging and single-use plastics we bring into our life.

Backyard Foraging by Ellen Zachos

65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat

You don’t need to trek into the forest to forage edible plants. Ideal for first-time foragers, this book features 70 edible weeds, flowers, mushrooms, and ornamental plants typically found in urban or suburban neighborhoods. You’ll be amazed by how many of the plants you see each day are actually nutritious edibles! Full-color photographs make identification easy, and tips on where certain plants are likely to be found, how to avoid pollution and pesticides, and how to recognize the plants you should never harvest make foraging as safe and simple as stepping into your own backyard.

The Backyard Homestead Seasonal Planner by Ann Larkin Hansen

What to Do & When to Do It in the Garden, Orchard, Barn, Pasture & Equipment Shed

This hardworking addition to the best-selling Backyard Homestead series offers expert advice on what tasks to do around your farm and when to do them – no matter where on the planet you call home. Author Ann Larkin Hansen sets the priorities for each area of the farm, including the barn, garden, orchard, field, pasture, and woodlot. For every critical turn of the year (12 in all), Hansen provides an at-a-glance to-do list along with tips and a more in-depth discussion of key topics for the season. Easy-reference charts, checklists, and record-keeping sections help you keep track of it all.

DIY Chicken Keeping From Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele

40+ Projects for the Coop, Run, Brooder, and More!

Build a better life for your chickens! Join Lisa Steele, chicken keeper extraordinaire and founder of Fresh Eggs Daily, to learn how to build just about everything you might need for your coop, run, or farmhouse kitchen. Whether you’re a DIY novice looking for an easy win or a more experienced builder looking for chicken-specific projects, you’ve come to the right place!

Your Indoor Herb Garden by DJ Herda

Growing and Harvesting Herbs at Home

Part 9 of the Homegrown City Life series

The complete how-to guide for growing herbs indoors for health, vitality, and culinary zest

Growing herbs indoors leads the list of the healthiest and most useful indoor activities we can do. Herbs can clean the air of toxins, provide oxygen and humidity, and help vanquish our psychoses. And they’re tasty!

Learn how to grow herbs for health, for taste, and for life with Your Indoor Herb Garden , a comprehensive guide to growing herbs indoors. Featuring all the tips and guidance you’ll need to grow and harvest organic culinary and medicinal herbs right in your own home.