Toolbox for Sustainable City Living (a Do-it-ourselves Guide)

Toolbox for Sustainable City Living (a Do-it-ourselves Guide)

Book - 2008
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Perseus Publishing

The tools you need to create self-sufficient, ecologically sustainable cities

“A surprisingly effective model for connecting people with dreams to the resources they need.” —Austin Chronicle

With more than half the world’s population now residing—and struggling to survive—in cities, we can no longer afford to think of sustainability as something that applies only to forests and fields. We need sustainable living right where so many of us are: in urban neighborhoods. But how do we do it?

That’s where Toolbox for Sustainable City Living comes in. In 2000 the dynamic Rhizome Collective transformed an abandoned warehouse in Austin, Texas, into a sustainability training center. Here, with their first book, Scott and Stacy, two of Rhizome’s founders, provide city dwellers—those who have never foraged or gardened along with those who dumpster-dive and belong to CSAs—with step-by- step instructions for producing our own food, collecting water, managing waste, reclaiming land, and generating energy.

With vibrant illustrations created by Juan Martinez of the Beehive Collective and descriptive text based on years of experimentation, Stacy and Scott explain how to build and grow with cheap, salvaged, and recycled materials. More than a how-to manual, Toolbox is packed with accessible and relevant tools to help move our communities from envisioning a sustainable future toward living it.

Scott Kellogg a Stacy Pettigrew are co-founders of the Rhizome Collective, an educational and activist organization based in Austin, Texas, that recently received a $200,000 grant from the EPA to clean up a 10-acre brownfield that they are transforming into an ecological justice park. Toolbox developed out of R.U.S.T.—Radical Urban Sustainability Training—their intensive weekend seminar in urban ecological survival skills.

A radical how-to for creating locally based, ecologically sustainable cities.

Book News
In 2000, Kellogg and Pettigrew helped found the Rhizome Collective in Austin, Texas, which offers an intensive weekend seminar in urban ecological survival skills. Mostly describing what they have done and are doing, they discuss food, water, waste, and energy. A section on bioremediation draws on their experience reclaiming a brownfield, for which the Collective recently received a big grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : South End Press, c2008
ISBN: 9780896087804
Characteristics: xviii, 241 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Pettigrew, Stacy


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