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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

BOOKS for Sustainable Selves, Sustainable Earth

Mar 30, 2018 03:35PM ● By Candace Apple
In this industrial and technological age, people are living lives of “nature deficit.” Many spend daylight in artificially lit, climate-controlled buildings without views of the beauty of nature. Several of the current books on ecology explore how this deficit affects the relationships people have with themselves, with loved ones, community and finally, with the earth.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-De cit Disorder by Richard Louv proposes that “the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the earth are inseparable.” rough review of multitudes of studies and the growing body of evidence linking the lack of contact with nature with the rise of obesity, attention disorders and depression, Louv’s message has become an international force for change.

Research has found that spending time in nature is beneficial to humans’ physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Receiving these benefits brings a greater appreciation of the natural world, and thus inspires a commitment to act to save the planet from the assault society has inflicted upon it.

Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, edited by Theodore Roszak, is a collection of essays exploring the psyche in relationship to its environment. ese explorations examine the mental health bene ts of being in nature and the impact on the potential healing of earth as people become more connected to it.

Spiritual Ecology: e Cry of the Earth, edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, is a compilation of essays by noted authors including ich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry and Sandra Ingerman. They do not propose actions to save the world, but rather focus on the need to reclaim reverence for the earth and remember its sacred nature, which is also humankind’s sacred nature. When humans reclaim their place as part of the natural world, rather than separate themselves from it, both will heal. As people grow to appreciate nature’s bene ts, and search for ways to help the planet maintain the balance necessary for the survival of their own species, some books offer suggestions.

What Does It Mean to Be Green? by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Blair, is a delightful and sometimes humorous guide for kindergarten through third-grade children. They learn that “being green” does not mean being a frog, a pickle or an alien, and they learn numerous examples of the “five R’s:” reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, refuse. Along with facts about the positive impact of “being green,” the publisher also provides grade-specific lessons plans.

Live an Eco-Friendly Life: Smart Ways to Get Green and Stay at Way by Natalia Marshall is an adult’s version of suggestions for living a more “green” life. Each of the 52 ideas o er a basic concept followed by several options for action, with instructions for implementing and evaluating them.

In Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide To How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better by Tracey Stewart and illustrated by Lisel Ashlock, the rich illustrations draw the reader into a journey from the loving kindness of care for household pets, to appreciation of the ecological role of backyard creatures. There are hints for enjoying a mindful nature walk and an in-depth look at compassionate farming practices. Note: Lisel’s book includes graphic descriptions of puppy mills and industrial farms.

Sustainable Revolution: Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban Farms, and Communities Worldwide by Juliana Birnbaum and Louis Fox, with design by Erika Rand, is full of rich narratives and beautiful photographs documenting nearly 100 successful projects around the world demonstrating the ethics and design principles of permaculture. Historically, permaculture was focused on land stewardship and sustainable farming. ose principles are now being applied to creating a sustainable culture including health and spiritual well-being, education and culture, tools and technology, building, nance and economics, land tenure and community government.

Candace Apple, owner of Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore 5531 Roswell Rd NE Sandy Springs, 30342. 404-255- 5207. [email protected].

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