Sustainability requires a new sense of community

I’m writing an article about “Community” for the final volume of my company’s Encyclopedia of Sustainability. The volume is called The Future of Sustainability so I have to explain the future of community and how that relates to sustainability. I’m summing up years of reading and pondering and fretting over how these two things relate, and was remembering my brief words about community at the end of Eco Living, published in 2000, several years before I became the creator and editor of the Encyclopedia of Community (Sage 2003). Here the [...]

August 1st, 2012|Categories: Community|Tags: , , |

The time of our lives

The opening chapter of my first book was about time, not the most obvious aspect of "home ecology." A book called Time Wars had just been published and I was fascinated by it, and very much conscious of time shortage in my own life. But looking back on this in 2012 I am astonished by the fact that I read Time Wars (and really read, front to back) and many other books then, far more than I read now. I can't help wondering if the time I now spend on [...]

May 27th, 2012|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , , |

The London Book Fair (and how this blog began)

I made my first trip to the London Book Fair in 2004. I was there as a new independent publisher and was rushing around to to publishing events, but I also had a meeting scheduled with MQ Publications, a gift-book company with a fast-talking editor who had persuaded me to sign a contract to write a book for them. They had already chosen the illustrator and planned out the chapters. They had the title picked, too: The Armchair Environmentalist. "I'm not an armchair kind of person," I said. I was [...]

April 23rd, 2012|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , |

Taking public education seriously

As Berkshire Publishing focuses more on education, on learning as well as teaching, I found myself reflecting on a passage from a book called The Company of Strangers, by Parker Palmer. I read this book in the course of my research on community, and even though Palmer's worldview is Christian and mine is not, I found that there is much to learn from him. We all need community, after all. I like the way he considers education and the public sphere: ". . . imagine what might happen if we [...]

January 19th, 2012|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

Nappies, diapers, and Chinese “split” trousers

I came across a remarkably detailed post at The Thrift Store Cloth Diaper Project about how to make your own cloth diapers from thrift store finds and got to thinking about nappies, not a subject on my mind these days when grandparenthood is still off in the future. But as I wrote in a section on “Nappies” in The Green Home (1995), not long after I’d had babies wearing them: When you have a leaky little one you get obsessed with nappies. Fathers swop notes on the best type, and [...]

December 13th, 2011|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: , , |