Thursday, October 17, 2013

Green book review: The Once and Future World By J.B. MacKinnon

We're back with our weekly green book review and today we're happy to do so with a thought-provoking book of J.B. McKinnon, the author of the best-selling book "The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating", who explores this time at the planet and our relationship with nature, offering a new perspective on the environmental crisis we're having and connecting the dots between the past and the future in what he believes is the best way to enable us to actually have a future on this planet. 

Our (audio) book for today is:

The Once and Future World By J.B. MacKinnon  (publisher:  Random House Canada) 

What this book is about?

In The Once and Future World, journalist J.B. MacKinnon, author of the best-selling The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, steps back in time to look for the wilderness we've forgotten, and comes back with an eye-opening account of nature as it was, as it is—and as it could be.

Here is a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America, explorers cross continents on elephant trails, and twenty times more whales swim in the sea. The environmental crisis we face today, MacKinnon discovers, has been underway for hundreds of years. Ours is now a '10 percent world'—a planet with just one-tenth of its former abundance. But this history is not only a lament. It is also an opportunity to reimagine nature. It wasn't only human greed that led us to where we are today; we have also suffered a 'great forgetting.'

To reverse our damaging course, we need to remember, reconnect, and rewild: to remember nature as it was, reconnect to it as something meaningful in our lives, and begin to remake a wilder world. We choose the nature that we live with—a choice that also decides the kind of people we are.

About the author:

J.B. MacKinnon is the author or coauthor of four books of nonfiction. His latest, The Once and Future World, will be released in September 2013. Previous works are The 100-Mile Diet (with Alisa Smith), a bestseller widely recognized as a catalyst of the local foods movement; I Live Here (with Mia Kirshner and artists Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge), a ‘paper documentary’ about displaced people that made top 10 lists from theBloomsbury Literary Review to Comic Book Resources; and Dead Man in Paradise, the story of a priest assassinated in the Dominican Republic, which won Canada’s highest prize for literary nonfiction.
MacKinnon also works in the field of interactive documentaries. He was the writer for Bear 71, which explores the intersection of the wired and wild worlds through the true story of a mother grizzly bear. Bear 71premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named 2012 Site of the Year at the international Favourite Website Awards. He was also text editor for Welcome to Pine Point, which won two Webby Awards, and is working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on an interactive ebook about the Canadian wilderness.
As a journalist, MacKinnon has won more than a dozen national and international awards in categories as varied as essays, science writing, and travelogue. He is a past editor of Adbusters, the ‘culture jamming’ magazine that launched the Occupy movement, and a past senior contributing editor of Explore, Canada’s national outdoors magazine. His stories have ranged from the civil war in Southern Sudan to anarchists in urban North America to the overlooked world of old age among wild animals.
MacKinnon is a rock climber, mountain biker, snowboarder, and—yes—a birdwatcher. He lives with his partner Alisa Smith in Vancouver, Canada.
Our review:
I had a lot of fun with the book, The Once and Future World, by J.B. MacKinnon. The first major section was my favorite though. It goes through the past and the extinction of animals, birds, fish, and the vegetation. It discussed the possible whys and the human fault in it. I found it very interesting and frankly, I devoured it. Then I spent additional time looking up images and history of these extinctions. Very well done in my estimation, as it got me thinking.

The other two sections bring you to speed with the current world. It goes into detail on “re-wilding” of the earth, not just with animals but with vegetation and habitats as well. This is a new concept for many, but it has actually been around for a while, and one that I was aware of. I like the idea of re-wilding. I would love to see it implemented to some degree.

 The author shares many vignettes of time and events with the reader. Some are a little dry and time consuming, while others are very entertaining and interesting. The author has a good pace throughout, and I enjoyed the book on the whole. Good information, good history, and lessons we should pay attention too.

The book is available on


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Our planting partner RIPPLE Africa is celebrating 10 years of incredible work in Malawi, Africa

Last month our planting partner RIPPLE Africa celebrated its 10th Anniversary! So first I'd like to congratulate the amazing people of RIPPLE Africa, and especially the founders Liz and Geoff Furber for the great work they do in Malawi, Africa. We're proud to work with such organization and take part in their efforts to make a difference in Malawi.

Second, we'd like to invite you to watch the 10 Year Anniversary video they made, which sums up everything they are as an organization.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shana Tova from Eco-Libris!

Today is
Rosh Hashanah Eve, the day before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year's day according to the Hebrew calendar.

Rosh Hashana is one of my favorite holidays, with many beautiful traditions, such as eating apple slices dipped in honey, which represent our hope for a sweet new year. 

I would also like to take this opportunity and wish you all Sahanah Tovah on behalf of Eco-Libris. May this Rosh Hashanah be the beginning of a sweet, green and wonderful year!

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Green book review: The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman (audiobook)

We're back with our weekly green book review after a short summer vacation and we're happy to do so with a great book in by one of our favorite journalists and authors that has been reintroduced last month in one of our favorite formats - audiobook. Could it get any better?

Our (audio) book for today is:

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio) 

What this book is about?
As the Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman has traveled to the four corners of the globe, interviewing people from all walks of contemporary life -- peasants in the Amazon rain forest, new entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Islamic students in Teheran, and the financial wizards on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley.

Now Friedman has drawn on his years on the road to produce an engrossing and original look at the new international system that, more than anything else, is shaping world affairs today: globalization. His argument can be summarized quite simply. Globalization is not just a phenomenon and not just a passing trend. It is the international system that replaced the Cold War system. Globalization is the integration of capital, technology and information across national borders, in a way that is creating a single global market and to some degree, a global village.

You cannot understand the morning news or know where to invest you money or think about where the world is going unless you understand this new system, which is influencing the domestic policies and international relations of virtually every country in the world today. And once you do understand the world as Friedman explains it, you'll never look at it quite the same way again. 

Using original terms and concepts -- from "The Electronic Herd" to "DOScapital 6.0" -- Friedman shows us how to see this new system. With vivid stories, he dramatizes the conflict of "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" -- the tension between the globalization system and ancient forms of culture, geography, tradition and community -- and spells out what we all need to do to keep this system in balance.

Finding the proper balance between the Lexus and the olive tree is the great drama of the globalization era, and the ultimate theme of Friedman's challenging, provocative book -- essential listening for all who care about how the world really works. 

About the author (source: New York Times):
Thomas L. Friedman won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, his third Pulitzer for The New York Times. He became the paper’s foreign-affairs Op-Ed columnist in 1995. Previously, he served as chief economic correspondent in the Washington bureau and before that he was the chief White House correspondent. In 2005, Mr. Friedman was elected as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Mr. Friedman joined The Times in 1981 and was appointed Beirut bureau chief in 1982. In 1984 Mr. Friedman was transferred from Beirut to Jerusalem, where he served as Israel bureau chief until 1988. Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel).

Mr. Friedman is the author of “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won both the National Book Award and the Overseas Press Club Award in 1989.  “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” was the winner of the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award for best non-fiction book on foreign policy. His 2002 book “Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11” consists of columns he published about the attacks.  “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century,” issued in April 2005 and updated in 2006 and 2007, received the inaugural Goldman Sachs/Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. 

“Hot, Flat, and Crowded” was published in 2008, and a paperback edition was issued a year later.  His sixth and most recent book, “That Used to Be Us: How American Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back,” co-written with Michael Mandelbaum, was released in September 2011.

Born in Minneapolis on July 20, 1953, Mr. Friedman received a B.A. degree in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University in 1975. In 1978 he received a Master of Philosophy degree in Modern Middle East studies from Oxford. Mr. Friedman is married and has two daughters.

Our review:
The Lexus and The Olive Tree I would say is an interesting book. We have all heard the term, globalization, but how many of us really understand what it means and what all it encompasses?  Even after reading this book, I am not sure I fully understand all that comes with such a simple term.  

Mr. Friedman's style of writing was mostly conversational and easy to understand. However, he tends to name drop, talk about his own friends, and his adventures a bit too much for me. It got a bit boring now and then. I found myself thinking again and again, “Just get to the point!” I admit not knowing some of the people he had lunch with or met in India or Tehran. When I don’t know something, I have to look it up. I spent more time with Google looking up people, places, and things, while reading this book, than I would like to admit. It took away from the book and the information within. Also, I should warn you that Mr. Friedman is a metaphor junkie. Pulitzer Prize winner or not, I found his use of metaphor overwhelming. Also, I should mention that portions of this book are getting outdated, and could use a revision. 

Don’t get me wrong I got a lot of good information and knowledge from this book, and I will take a lot away from my time within its pages. It’s a full and thorough book that includes anything and everything you could think of on globalization, from WWII all the way to the creation of email and the internet. Even though I was basically aware of the internet’s creation, I found this section very interesting.  

The audiobook version of The Lexus and the Olive Tree is available on as well as other retailers.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Last day to buy great green ebooks from Island Press for just $4.99!

I wanted to share an update from our friends at Island Press. Today (Friday, Aug 2) is the last day  about a special opportunity Island Press is offering this week to our supporters  – all of our backlist e-books will be available for just $4.99. This special incorporates more than 500 titles from our three decades of publishing including:

·        Gretchen Daily’s Nature’s Services, usually $45.00, now $4.99;
·        David Orr’s Hope is an Imperative, usually $30, now $4.99;
·        Callum Roberts’ The Unnatural History of the Sea, usually $24, now $4.99; and others.

These titles include the best ideas and information on the environment, including books on water, food systems, urban issues, ecosystems, and climate change. Island Press e-books are available at its website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other online retailers. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Green book review: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us by Tony Juniper

There ain't no such thing as free lunch. This notion that Harvard economist Greg Mankiw described as "to get one thing that we like, we usually have to give up another thing that we like. Making decisions requires trading off one goal against another" is mostly true, but we tend to forget about it when it comes to natural capital.  

Yet, this is wrong, very wrong, as nature provides the 'natural services' that keep the economy going, explains Tony Juniper in his new book. Why? This important book written by one of the top 10 environmental figures of the last 30 years explains it, and it is our pleasure to have it on this week's green book review:

What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow on Trees by Tony Juniper with a Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales (publisher: Synergetic Press) 

What this book is about?
During recent years, and since 2005 in particular, the environmental debate worldwide has been dominated by climate change, carbon emissions and efforts to achieve low carbon economies. But a number of academic, technical, political, business and NGO initiatives indicate that there is a new wave of environmental attention focused on a wholly different set of subjects: namely that of 'natural capital,' 'ecosystem services' and 'biodiversity,' or in other words, what Nature does for us.

From Indian Vultures to Chinese bees and from recycling miracles in the soil to the abundant genetic codebook underpinning our food and pharmaceutical needs, Nature provides the 'ecosystem services' that underlie our economies. It is been estimated that these and other services are worth about twice the global GDP, and yet we take most of these services for granted, imagining them free and limitless- until they suddenly switch off.

This is a book full of immediate, impactful stories, containing warnings, such as the rabies epidemic that followed a disappearance of Indian vultures (hormones in cattle killed the birds and resulted surplus in carcasses, creating an explosion of wild dogs), as well as promising and enlightening tales of how birds protect fruit harvests, coral reefs shield coasts from storms and how the rainforests absorb billions of tons of carbon released from automobiles and power stations. Tony Juniper's book will change the whole way you think about life, the planet and the economy.

About the author:
Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and a well-known British environmentalist. For more than 25 years he has worked for change toward a more sustainable society at local, national and international levels. From providing ecology and conservation experiences for primary school children, to making the case for new recycling laws, to orchestrating international campaigns for action on rainforests and climate change, his work has sought change at many levels. Juniper presently works as a Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities' International Sustainability Unit. For more info, visit 

Our review:
This book, What Has Nature Ever Done For Us, by Tony Juniper was an interesting read. It has many stories that are very current today in our drive to retain our world and the creatures within it. We, humans, tend to see immediate consequences to our actions, but I think most of us tend to forget about the long term consequences. The stories within the pages of this book bring them front and center, and make them hard to ignore. As an added perk the book is written in an easy to read and understand format.

The author also keeps you interested and turning the pages as the stories and events are told in a manner that I found to be compelling and entertaining. Some of the events I was quite aware of all ready before reading the book, but the author found more information and more background to add to what I already knew. I liked that a lot. It wasn’t just a quick fact dump either. Instead it was a comprehensive telling of the events and the story behind them. I really enjoyed this read.

There were a few sections I found to be a bit wordy and long, but that is my only real complaint. Anyone interested in our environment and in the world we live, I think will find use of this book. The more versed in this area may not get as much out of it as the newer people, but I still recommend it all the same.

The book is available on in both hardcover and paperback formats.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New book, Moonpennies by Alanna Rosette is going green with Eco-Libris!

We're happy to announce on a new collaboration with author Alanna Rosette on her first book Moonpennies. 100 trees will be planted with Eco-Libris to green up this great summer read, which is right now available in an electronic format on Amazon.

So what's Moonpennies about? Here are more details on the book:

About the book:

Lina Daniels was eleven years old when her mother divulged that true love doesn't exist and heartbreak is inevitable. Now a late-twenties struggling writer, Lina is terrified of opening her heart to anyone. She fumbles through life, battling bouts of depression and avoiding real relationships at all costs...until one too many glasses of wine at a New Year's Eve party undermines her resolve. 

She ends up in the arms of an irresistible prospect and decides to give love a chance. 

The better judgment of her best friends tells her he's not the right guy. But finding the courage to fall in love is only the beginning of Lina's journey. Uncharted risks and bold mistakes open her eyes to a life-changing realization. She may learn her mother was right about the certainty of heartbreak. Yet she may also find that true love does exist, and it makes the heartbreak worthwhile.

About the author: 
Alanna Rosette is a writer across various mediums of fiction and non-fiction. Copywriter by day, but of course, fiction is her favorite.She enjoys writing prose but also have an affinity for visual storytelling, and thus love screenwriting, too. "It sounds cliche, but hey, it's true...I've been writing since I was a kid and don't plan on ever stopping. I do it because I love it," she writes. 

You can follow her on twitter and find her on Facebook as well.

You can purchase Moonpennies on (electronic format is available).


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7 reasons we need paper more than ever

This is a guest post written by Fritha Strickland, Head of Blogs at Eco Market
Spiral Recycled Note Pad
Every week of every month for the last decade, writers in publications scattered all over the world have confidently announced the death of paper. Amazon's Kindle is released - and books are labelled defunct. Mobile phone notetaking apps are killing moleskines. After 79 years in print, Newsweekmagazine goes digital-only, so it's only a matter of time before everything else does. What's wrong with this doom & gloom argument? Simple - paper is still everywhere. For example, despite Kindle's sky-rocketing popularity, Amazon is expanding its print publishing empire - and Moleskine just went IPO.

Paper is not dead - it's thriving. Here's why:
"Paper has turned out to be tenacious. This is because paper is awesome."
- Tim Maly, Wired.

Here are 7 reasons why we still need this awesome piece of technology in our lives.
1. We Remember Things Better
Ever put pen to paper and felt like you were capturing your thoughts a little differently? It may all be in your head, but it’s not just your imagination. Studies suggest that the physical act of writing by hand gives us a greater focus on the meaning behind our words, making handwriting a more effective tool for learning than typing. Remember the age-old school punishment of ‘writing lines’? If you want something etched deep into your memory…grab a sheet of paper and punish yourself.
2. We're Less Hasty
How often in modern life are we told to slow down while we’re working? Productivity is all about speed - and with speed comes carelessness, typos, glaring holes in our arguments and laugh-out-loud clunkers. All very well when you’re writing for yourself or friends, but at work (or study) that can be a professional disaster. Enter your own personal editor: paper. The act of first-drafting by hand is usually enough to iron out the most stubborn typos, partly because your subconscious has a better vocabulary than you do. (Test this out next time you don’t know how to spell a word: write as many variations as you can, and hunt for the one that “looks right.”) Handwritten first drafts also force us to immerse ourselves in what we’re writing about, for the reasons outlined in (1). It’ll take longer, but using paper will make your words (and the thinking behind them) much stronger.
3. We Feel It Differently
Ever smelled an old book? That cocktail of musty paper, the air of countless page-turnings, and the deep, rich tang of time itself? Ever seen people in the British Library lusting over old books? Ever pined for a really nice fountain pen? Ever wondered where all that emotion has gone in the age of the digital book? It' possible that with the advent of e-paper and touchscreens we’ve lost a little of our passion and reverence for the physical act of reading and write. Paper isn’t just a completely blank canvas - it’s a personal statement. Pull out some hemp stationery and you’re saying “I care about where this stuff comes from - also, feel that texture, it’s amaaaaazing.”
4. We're Quicker On The Draw
If you’re one of the super-fast-fingered iPhone elite, this may not apply to you…but for the rest of us, gadgets take time. They need waking up or turning on, they need a few second for their apps to load, and they need to wait while we stab ineffectually at the screen in some mistake-riddled parody of typing. Whatever the combination of delays, they are slower than using a pen and a piece of paper - and even today, there’s little quicker than speedwriting.

Power socket
5. We Never Have To Stop
Your best thoughts run on a 24-hour schedule, but battery power is finite. If you forget to charge up, you could be left without the tools to jot down ideas, make notes, and the million other ways we use technology to jog our memories. Worse, our peace of mind is disrupted by our remaining battery power. Less than 50%? Nervously chew lip. Less than 20%? Dim the screen, shut down unnecessary apps, start panicking. Electrical devices enslave our mood in subtle ways - but paper? Paper is always ready for business. The only power source it needs is a human brain.
6. We Tidy Up The Planet
It’s nice to think of a world where we don’t need to keep churning out new paper - and in a way, we’re living in that world right now. Putting aside the future for a minute - the modern world is full of waste paper, and the more that can be used of it, the fewer trees will need to be cut down. It’s been estimated that half the world’s paper being recycled would produce the same amount of paper as 20 million acres of forestland. Leading recycling firms like The Green Stationery Company (creators of the Evolution recycled paper line) believe that recycled fibre should be the priority for any paper-consuming company wanting to help the environment. If more waste paper can be put back into production, it encourages investment in recycling technologies that will continually strive to close the sustainability loop.
Planted sapling
7. We're Futureproofing Sustainable Industries
 There’s the other side to the recycling argument, and it’s all about the future. Done right, paper is a renewable resource, and that presents green entrepreneurs with an opportunity to make customers care about a mass-produced product that’s not hollowing out the environment. Virgin papermaking uses a lot of resources (water, energy, bleacing agents etc.) so the way we make paper should constantly be evolving. Right now hemp is a very attractive alternative to wood pulp (and here's why). The smarter we are at making paper, the better it's going to be for our environment - and the best time to start refining that process is now.

Images:  a.driantheilrjnyemb and USFS Region 5.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Green book review: The Zero Footprint Baby by Keya Chatterjee

Babies and sustainability should go hand in hand - after all, sustainability is all about "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

But how do you do it when your new baby has just been born and taking care of the new baby seems nothing but sustainable (take the waste diapers generate for example)? The book we review today has some answers for current and future parents who want to know how to do it right.

The book we review today is:

The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby by Keya Chatterjee (publisher: Ig Publishing)

What this book is about?

In our culture, pregnancy, birth, and childrearing are deeply connected to consumption and resource use. From the baby shower to the minivan and the larger apartment or first house, the baby-raising years are the most hyper-consumptive of our lives, and can set a family on an unsustainable track for years to come. 

The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby shows how to raise a child with little to no carbon footprint. This timely book covers every issue new parents face, including pregnancy (what kind of birth has the lowest impact?); what to feed your baby (breastfeed, formula, or both?); childcare (who should take care of the baby, and how?); and of course, diapering. Using a mix of personal anecdotes, summarized research, and clear guidance on how to pursue the most sustainable baby-rearing options, environmental expert and new mom Keya Chatterjee has authored the ultimate resource for all new parents with green inclinations.

About the author:
Keya Chatterjee is a Senior Director for Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach at the World Wildlife Fund. Her commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets, including USA Today, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and NBC Nightly News. She has also served as a Climate Change Specialist at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and worked at the NASA Earth Science Enterprise. She lives in Washington DC with her husband and son. For more info, visit:

Our review:
I found this book interesting and even fun at times. Some of the ideas I thought were very useful and would be easy to put into practice, and then others bordered on absurd. Then there were the ideas that were fascinating to my mind, but not all that reasonable in the long run. One of my favorites though was the toilet sink. The water used in the sink, filters into the tank of the toilet, and then is used as the flushing water. This is ingenious, why had I not heard of it before?  Why do we need clean water to flush with? I can get behind this all the way. 

There are also some ideas that I found ridiculous. Maybe I don’t have the right mind-set. Maybe I am not doing enough to lower my carbon use. There are definitely some things that I can change and am willing to try and change. However, I am not one to put my children at risk in the process. Some of the things in this book I feel have the potential to do that.

As to the writing itself, I found the authors tone to be a bit condescending. Had a bit of the ‘this is why I am awesome’ kind of thing going on. It seemed even a bit insulting at times to me. For instance, one of the ways to cut down carbon use is to recycle (obviously), which includes clothing. The author spoke of all the people that graciously gave her their used maternity clothes, but then complained that these same people had the nerve, the very gall, to share their pregnancy and birthing stories with her. How dare they want to share with her? At first I took this as her shot at humor, but then it didn’t seem all that funny to me.  

All in all, the book is sound. I liked its contents and the information provided. I did. It’s a wonderful book to get parents, or expecting parenting, or planning to be expecting parents to think about their carbon footprint now, not after it’s too late. I suggest reading it, and then taking from it what you can.

The book is available on Amazon in both electronic and paperback formats.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Green book review - The Greenest Home: Superinsulated and Passive House Design by Julie Torres Moskovitz

Making buildings more sustainable is one of the more interesting developments that we're witnessing in the last couple of years. Our book today focuses on one of the latest developments in this area - passive houses.

The book we review today is:

The Greenest Home: Superinsulated and Passive House Design By Julie Torres Moskovitz (publisher: Princeton Architectural Press)

What this book is about?

Passive is the new green. Passive Houses, well–insulated, virtually airtight buildings, can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding ninety percent, making them not only an attractive choice for current and prospective homeowners, but also the right choice for a sustainable future. The Greenest Home showcases eighteen of the world's most attractive Passive Houses by forward-thinking architects such as Bernheimer Architecture, Olson Kundig Architects, and Onion Flats, among many others. Each case study consists of a detailed project description, plans, and photographs. Including a mix of new construction and retrofit projects built in a variety of site conditions, The Greenest Home is an inspiring sourcebook for architects and prospective homeowners, as well as a useful tool for students, and builders alike.

Our review:
This is one of those books that you sit down and read the first time. Then you see it sitting on the counter and you flip through it. Then you walk by it another day and page around in it again. The ideas are contempory and fun. The materials green and environmentally sound. The pictures and the plans are well organized. Paging through this book there are so many ideas that catch your eye and make you want to pop onto the wagon of green homes. The storage ideas and the organization, the lighting aspects, the vaulted ceilings and baboon materials, made me drool with desire. Then….you look into prices and that idea goes out the window.

First, there are no pricing lists in this book. If you are interested you have to hunt down the materials and put together a price list of your own. I found that a bit tedious. I think most people wouldn’t get that far. The only reason I did, was I was curious if it was affordable to go green in this fashion. Most all the homes in this book were huge. Maybe if they cut them down in size a bit, it would be more cost effective for the regular every day person.

Regardless of the pricing, the homes are beautiful both inside and out. The indexing is complete and easy to use as it is broken down by home. I have not yet regaled this book to the shelf. It still sits out in the living area for me to continually flip through and dream.

You can purchase the book here.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

A new book in Hebrew, The Main one by Inbal Malka is going green with Eco-Libris!

We are very happy to announce on our collaboration with Israeli author Inbal Malka to green up her debut novel 'The Main One' - 250 Trees will be planted with Eco-Libris for the first edition of this exciting novel!

The Main One is the third book in Hebrew we're working with after My Cup of Tea  and Natanya - both written by Dror Burstein. We are delighted to have books in Hebrew as part of the growing list of languages of books we work with, which includes among others Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian and English.

You can purchase The Main One here.


Raz @ Eco-Libris
Plant a tree for every book you read!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Green book review: Urbanism Without Effort by Charles Wolfe

Urbanism is is gaining more attention these days as we're heading towards a planet where the vast majority of people live in cities, not to mention the fact that as Alex Steffen claims we can't effectively fight climate change without looking first at the way our cities are built.

The book we review today is exploring this issue in great depth and is an important addition to the ongoing discussion about urbanism. The book is:

Urbanism Without Effort by Charles R. Wolfe (publisher: Island Press)

What this book is about?

This beautifully illustrated short e-book explores the idea that to create vibrant, sustainable cities, we must first understand what happens naturally when people congregate in cities – innate, unprompted interactions of urban dwellers with each other and their surrounding environment. Good places are rooted in acknowledgement of a city’s history and the everyday uses of urban space. 

Wolfe argues that city dwellers invariably celebrate environments where and when they can coexist safely, in a mutually supportive way and believes such celebration is most interesting when it occurs spontaneously – seemingly without effort. He contends it is critical to first isolate these spontaneous and latent examples of successful urban land use, before applying any prescriptive government policies or initiatives. 

Wolfe provides something rare in contemporary urbanist writing – rich illustrations and examples from real life – both historical and current. His writing about the past and the future of urban form offers readers inspiration, historical context, and a better understanding of how a sustainable, inviting urban environment is created. 

About the author
Charles R. (Chuck) Wolfe, M.R.P., J.D. provides a unique perspective about cities as both a long time writer about urbanism worldwide and an attorney in Seattle, where he focuses on land use and environmental law and permitting. He is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, where he teaches land use law at the graduate level. He contributes regularly to several publications.

Our review:

In this book, we take a look at urban life, both past and present. It is evident that the author has an extensive knowledge and passion for this subject matter. I could tell that he has spent years and hours doing research and studying it. He is still excited about this subject to a point that I will never be able to attain. That feeling of passion and excitement comes through in the writing.  

The book itself was very informative and does provide a new and maybe even better understanding of how a sustainable as well as inviting urban environment can be created. However, it was a bit dull at times for me the everyday reader. I do think it will be useful and appealing to teachers, professors, and students and even companies and city project planners with regard to learning how and putting into effect better urban planning and land use, so that we can in fact create that sustainable city that we all do want. One that is also filled with beauty. 

The photos within the book are wonderful. They take you all over the world and show life as it is being lived now and before. They are absolutely breathtaking. My favorite aspect of the book actually All in all a pretty good book. I do recommend it to anyone that is interested in this subject.

You can purchase the book in an electronic format on and Apple store.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eco-Libris is collaborating with Complete Test Preparation to balance out their study guides

We're happy to announce on a new collaboration with Complete Test Preparation Inc., a Canadian publisher of test preparation books. We will work with Complete Test Preparation to plant 100 trees for many of the helpful books they publish! 

Here are the first four books we'll be working to balance out by planting trees - 100 trees will be planted for each of the following books:

Complete Study Guide including hundreds of pages of Tutorials, Self-Assessments, 2 sets of practice test questions, Complete guide to multiple choice strategy, Complete guide to taking a test, and over 500 Practice Test Questions including Paragraph Comprehension, Basic Math, Algebra, Metric Conversion, Word Problems, Basic Science, Human Body Science (Anatomy and Physiology), Life Science (Biology, Ecology), Earth and Physical Science, Scientific Method and Reasoning, English Grammar and Language Usage, Grammar and Vocabulary in Context, Spelling and Punctuation, Grammar and structure.

Pass the HESI!
The Evolve Reach Admissions Assessment exam (HESI A2) is required for entrance to the Register Nursing program at many institutions.

HESI Study Guide including Self-Assessments, Tutorials, and 2 practice tests. Practice Test Questions for Reading, Math, Basic Science, Anatomy and Physiology and English Grammar.

Pass the THEA!
Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) Test Preparation The THEA exam is designed to test the readiness of students for entrance into Texas Colleges and academic life.

Complete THEA Study Guide including hundreds of pages of Tutorials, Self-Assessments, 2 sets of practice test questions, Complete guide to multiple choice strategy, Complete guide to taking a test, and Practice Test Questions for Reading, Math, Geometry, Algebra and more.

Pass the CHSPE!  
A Certificate of Proficiency is awarded to successful candidates of the California High School Proficiency Exam. The Certificate of Proficiency is technically not the same as a high school diploma but is regarded as an equivalent of a diploma, similar to the GED. Complete Study Guide and pratice tests for the CHSPE. Includes tutorials, 2 sets of practice test questions, self-assessments, complete guide to taking a test, guide to multiple choice strategy. Includes practice questions for mathematics, reading comprehension, english grammar, geometry, English usage and algebra.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Green book review - The EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want by Frances Moore Lappe

It's always a pleasure to have on our weekly green review book series a book of a great environmental thinker, and today we have the honor of reviewing a new book of one of today most thought-provoking leaders of the environmental movement - Frances Moore Lappé.

Frances Moore Lappé has written so far 18 books, including the best-seller Diet for a Small Planet. Her latest book which was released last month is:

The EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want by Frances Moore Lappe (publisher: Nation Books)

What this book is about?

In EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé—a giant of the environmental movement—confronts accepted wisdom of environmentalism. Drawing on the latest research from anthropology to neuroscience and her own field experience, she argues that the biggest challenge to human survival isn’t our fossil fuel dependency, melting glaciers, or other calamities. Rather, it’s our faulty way of thinking about these environmental crises that robs us of power. Lappé dismantles seven common “thought traps”—from limits to growth to the failings of democracy— that belie what we now know about nature, including our own, and offers contrasting “thought leaps” that reveal our hidden power. 

Like her Diet for a Small Planet classic, EcoMind is challenging, controversial and empowering.

About the author
Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 18 books including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. Her most recent work, released by Nation Books in September 2011, is EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want, winner of a silver medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Environment/Ecology/Nature category. Jane Goodall called the book "powerful and inspiring. "Ecomind will open your eyes and change your thinking. I want everyone to read it," she said.

She is the cofounder of three organizations, including Oakland based think tank Food First and, more recently, the Small Planet Institute, a collaborative network for research and popular education seeking to bring democracy to life, which she leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. Frances and her daughter have also cofounded the Small Planet Fund, which channels resources to democratic social movements worldwide.

Our review:

The book Ecomind, by Frances Moore Lappe, appeared to mainly be a book about balance, balance of the people and the earth and the economy in order to have a healthier or more environmentally sound earth. 

There was a lot of information on how the world perceives the environment and how we all feel paralyzed by inaction, both of others and ourselves. It goes on with how the people of the world could work together, and think outside the box, we could change the world and create a better place for everyone and everything. Maybe even just try out some of the ideas and examples of what other countries and places are doing. Simple things like going local and reusing wasted material. All good ideas and I agree with most of the ideas.

I enjoyed the author’s approach of conversational writing. She has humorous comments as well as intelligent and useful studies she discusses. I found the book simple and comprehensive to understand. It didn’t feel as though I was being talked down to, which I have found in many of the these types of books. Some of the sections seemed a bit long, and some were not as provoking of topics as others, but all in all, it was a very insightful read.

You can purchase Ecomind on (in both electronic and hardcover formats).


Friday, May 10, 2013

Green book review - The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux

Africa is dear to our heart, which is why we're so proud to have one of our planting partners  RIPPLE Africa, operating in Malawi, Africa. This is also why we're so happy to review a special book on a special journey in this troubled and beautiful continent.

Our book for this week is:

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux (publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

What this book is about?

Following the success of the acclaimed Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and The Great Railway Bazaar, The Last Train to Zona Verde is an ode to the last African journey of the world's most celebrated travel writer.

“Happy again, back in the kingdom of light,” writes Paul Theroux as he sets out on a new journey through the continent he knows and loves best. Theroux first came to Africa as a twenty-two-year-old Peace Corps volunteer, and the pull of the vast land never left him. Now he returns, after fifty years on the road, to explore the little-traveled territory of western Africa and to take stock both of the place and of himself.

His odyssey takes him northward from Cape Town, through South Africa and Namibia, then on into Angola, wishing to head farther still until he reaches the end of the line. Journeying alone through the greenest continent, Theroux encounters a world increasingly removed from both the itineraries of tourists and the hopes of postcolonial independence movements. Leaving the Cape Town townships, traversing the Namibian bush, passing the browsing cattle of the great sunbaked heartland of the savanna, Theroux crosses “the Red Line” into a different Africa: “the improvised, slapped-together Africa of tumbled fences and cooking fires, of mud and thatch,” of heat and poverty, and of roadblocks, mobs, and anarchy. After 2,500 arduous miles, he comes to the end of his journey in more ways than one, a decision he chronicles with typically unsparing honesty in a chapter called “What Am I Doing Here?”

Vivid, witty, and beautifully evocative, The Last Train to Zona Verde is a fitting final African adventure from the writer whose gimlet eye and effortless prose have brought the world to generations of readers. 

About the author
Paul Theroux is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and on Cape Cod. 

Our review:
The Last Train to Zona Verde by Paul Theroux was read with mixed feelings. I had a bit of awe, a bit of jealousy, and a bit of fear for this writer. He is one of the true and real travel writers. He goes to the places he writes about and tells you of his visit in fine and colorful detail. He has a fantastic voice and tells the story with such life that at times you forget that it’s not fiction. I wish I could see some of the things he has seen and wish I could forget some of the things I have learned from him.

On this journey, Paul spent his time roaming through parts of Africa that frankly I had to hunt down on a map to find: the bush country or Zona Verde, Cape Town, Botswana, and Namibia are just a few. This is not simply a story about the landscape, but actual events that he saw or lived, such as: the people; or the wildlife and landscape destruction that we all know about, but don’t actually see face to face in our own everyday lives; or the government’s blasé indifference to the state of the things. Then it all ends, so fast and so unexpectedly. I felt his strong emotions about having to quit his adventure before he had planned, thanks only to violent militant actions.

I wish I could come up with a better word, but this book was simply very well done. You can purchase the book on (in both electronic and hardcover formats).