Proudly Recommended by the City of Cockburn Sustainability Committee


1. The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne

Learn how to grow and preserve your own food, clean without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more. Step-by-step projects, tips, and anecdotes will help get you started immediately.  Written by city dwellers for city dwellers and proposes a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community, and our planet.


2. Deep Economy by Bill McKibben

“Masterfully crafted, deeply thoughtful and mind-expanding.””–Los Angeles Times”

Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. He makes the compelling case for moving beyond “growth” as the paramount economic ideal and pursuing prosperity in a more local direction, with regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment.

3. Power shift by Robert Stayton

A blueprint for a clean sustainable energy future based on solar power.

Power Shift focuses on solar power as our best hope for the future, and develops a detailed plan that includes worldwide deployment, with 100% solar in 50 years. Describes an alternative bottom-up approach where individuals install their own solar systems.


4. Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

A manifesto for a radically different philosophy and practice of manufacture.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. As McDonough and Braungart argue in their provocative book, however, this approach perpetuates a one-way, “cradle to grave” manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world, they ask.



5. Blessed unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World by Paul Hawken

The “New York Times” bestselling examination of the worldwide movement for social and environmental change. 

These groups comprise the largest movement on earth. “Blessed Unrest” explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and centuries of hidden history. It will inspire all who despair of the world’s fate, and its conclusions will surprise even those within the movement itself.


6. The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World by Andrew Winston

We live in a fundamentally changed world and have passed an economic tipping point.

The mega challenges of climate change, scarcity, and radical transparency threaten our ability to run an expanding global economy and are profoundly changing “business as usual.” Winston provides 10 crucial strategies for leaders and companies, with concrete advice and tactics. The Big Pivot will help all of us, create more resilient businesses and a more prosperous world. and provides a blueprint to get you started.


7. Fast Food Nation: the dark side of the all American meal by Eric Schlosser

The” New York Times” bestseller that blew the lid off the fast food industry.

Exposing how it has mauled our landscape, widened the gap between rich and poor,  and fuelled an epidemic of obesity.  “Fast Food Nation” has changed the way America thinks about the way it eats, and it continues to inform and inspire readers concerned about the dramatic impact fast food has on our economy and our health.


8.   10 things I can do to help my world by Melanie Walsh

A beautifully simple book for small children, with pages revealing 10 things that everyone can do to help conserve their world. 


9. Little house living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life by Merissa Alink

A motivational homemaking book, featuring creative, fun ways to live your life simply and frugally.

Marissa started to write about homesteading, homemaking, and cooking from scratch, and over the next few years developed the recipes and DIY projects for her blog “Little House Living”. Based on whole foods and easy-to-make recipes for everything from sunscreen to taco seasoning mix, lemon poppy hand scrub to furniture polish. Simple ingredients, allergen friendly and many gluten-free, with gorgeous full-color photographs.


There are many more Sustainable Living books – check out our catalogue!

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