April is Earth Month

And to help you think green, here is a list of materials addressing different aspects of environmental sustainability, ranging in scope from the larger problems to offering practical solutions.


Problems facing our environment today:

Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot is a collection of photo essays edited by Tom Butler that draw attention to the perils of overpopulation and over development such as species loss and destruction of wildlife habitats.

Gasland and Gasland Part II are two documentary films by Josh Fox exploring the dangers of fracking (hydraulic fracturing). In the first video, Fox takes viewers on his journey through twenty-five states with accounts of exploding wells, flammable drinking water, pains and sicknesses, and government indifference to this process of natural gas drilling. Expanding his scope in the second documentary, Fox chronicles the expansion of fracking in the United States since the first film and in thirty-two countries worldwide.

Solutions to combating environmental threats:

Countering 21st Century Social-Environmental Threats to Growing Global Populations by Frederic R. Siegel offers solutions to a variety of social and environmental problems like climate change, water deficits, and competition for natural resources. Siegel proposes different political, economic, and scientific changes that would help cope with the strains of overpopulation.

Driving the Future: Combating Climate Change with Cleaner, Smarter Cars by Margo T. Oge is an account of how government agencies, environmental groups, and car manufacturers are partnering to address climate change through the development of cleaner, intelligent vehicles.

In Creating Regenerative Cities, Herbert Girardet argues for a paradigm shift in city-planning: a move from ‘sustainable development’ to ‘regenerative development’. He examines technical, management, and policy solutions to make cities self-sufficient, calling for a holistic approach to city operations in which cities operate in circular systems versus linear systems of resource use.

Andrew Hasse’s film Edible City looks at the Good Food Movement in the San Francisco Bay Area, a movement for healthy, sustainable local food systems with practical solutions to monumental problems facing the larger food system.

The Emergent Agriculture: Farming, Sustainability and the Return of the Local Economy is a collection of essays by Gary Kleppel on achieving sustainability in farming. Kleppel argues that a locally based food system is more economically stable and environmentally resilient than the destructive industrial agriculture system, allowing for food security and benefits for local economies.

Eat Local for Less: the Ultimate Guide to Opting Out of Our Broken Industrial Food System by Julie Castillo contains practical advice on buying, growing, and preparing local food, including how to navigate farmers’ markets, CSAs, and co-ops and cook fresh foods on a budget.

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