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essential composting toilets

Essential Composting Toilets

A Guide to Options, Design, Installation, and Use
$39.99 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication Date: November, 2018
ISBN: 9780865718722
In stock now: 0

From wastestream to mainstream, a practical guide to composting toilet systems. Composting toilets are a key feature for local resilience, money saving, water conservation, resource recovery, septic system replacement, and an improved bathroom experience in rural and urban buildings.

Essential Composting Toilets is a streamlined manual that takes a practical, how-to approach to composting toilet system selection, design, installation, and operation, while meeting universal health and safety objectives. Drawing from existing regulations and research, this book dispels myths and provides tools to assess various systems. It includes:

  • Easily-understood drawings, plans, and photos
  • Coverage of all main composting toilet systems
  • Selection criteria including site considerations, urine separation pros/cons, renovations/new builds, ventilation, servicing, and composting details
  • Design and installation details.

Offering a professional approach accessible to DIYers, homeowners, designers, building consultants, water conservation advocates, and regulators, Essential Composting Toilets provides key information for redesigning toilet systems anywhere in the world.

Drawing from existing regulations and research, this book will dispel myths, satisfy regulators, and provide tools to assess various systems in terms of meeting the health and safety objectives driving regulations

Ann and Gord Baird are the co-creators, designers, and builders of the award winning Eco-Sense home in Victoria, BC, Canada, They implemented greywater systems, rainwater harvesting, and compost toilets into North America's first legal two story seismically engineered load-bearing cob home.

essential rainwater harvesting

Essential Rainwater Harvesting

A Guide to Home-Scale System Design
By: Rob Avis
$39.99 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication Date: October, 2018
ISBN: 9780865718746
In stock now: 0

Design a rainwater harvesting system for any home in any climate. Water is a crucial resource increasingly under stress. Yet rainfall, even in arid climates, can make up a sizable portion of any home, acreage, or farms water requirements if harvested and utilized with care. The key is high-quality site-specific design and sensible maintenance.

Essential Rainwater Harvesting is a comprehensive manual for designing, building, and maintaining water harvesting systems for the warm and cold climates of the world. Presenting design considerations and approaches for the most common household rainwater supply scenarios—primary, supplemental, and off-grid— this step-by-step approach covers:

  • Planning for full-property water security
  • Guidance on navigating regulatory requirements
  • Templates for building your own spreadsheet-based calculation tool
  • Site-specific planning and spatial layout
  • Materials and component design and selection
  • System maintenance and upkeep.

Incorporating the latest independent research, this practical resource provides DIYers, trades, and rainwater practitioners with the essential tools, methods, and technical know-how to design, confidently build, and maintain rainwater harvesting systems that produce quality water without necessarily needing end-of-line disinfection or sterilization.

The authors have over 20 years of combined experience in project management, ecological design, and sustainable technologies, which they share at from their suburban house and yard that they’ve transformed into a model of cold climate urban permaculture in Calgary, Alberta.

call of the reed warbler

Call of the Reed Warbler

A New Agriculture, A New Earth
$32.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Chelsea Green
Publication Date: September, 2018
ISBN: 9781603588133
In stock now: 2

“Charles Massy has written a definitive masterpiece that takes its place along with the writings of Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, Masanobu Fukuoka, Humberto Maturana, and Michael Pollan. No work has more brilliantly defined regenerative agriculture and the breadth of its restorative impact upon human health, biodiversity, climate, and ecological intelligence.” —Paul Hawken

 In Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health. It is the story of how a grassroots revolution—a true underground insurgency—can save the planet, help reduce and reverse climate change, and build healthy people and healthy communities, pivoting significantly on our relationship with growing and consuming food.

Using his personal experience as a touchstone—from an unknowing, chemical-using farmer with dead soils to a radical ecologist farmer carefully regenerating a 2000-hectare property to a state of natural health—Massy tells the real story behind industrial agriculture and the global profit-obsessed corporations driving it. With evocative stories, he shows how other innovative and courageous farmers are finding a new way.

 At stake is not only a revolution in human health and in our communities, but the very survival of the planet. For farmers, backyard gardeners, food buyers, health workers, policy makers, and public leaders alike, Call of the Reed Warbler offers a tangible path forward and a powerful and moving paean of hope.

It’s not too late to regenerate the earth. Call of the Reed Warbler shows the way forward for the future of our food supply, our planet, and our health.

new organic grower, 3rd edition

New Organic Grower, 3rd Edition

A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener, 30th Anniversary Edition
$39.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publication Date: September, 2018
ISBN: 9781603588171
In stock now: 3

Since its original publication in 1989, The New Organic Grower has been one of the most important farming books available, with pioneer Eliot Coleman leading the charge in the organic movement in the United States. Now fully illustrated and updated, this 30th Anniversary Edition will help organic farmers build successful farms in deep accordance with nature.

Inspired by European intensive growers, The New Organic Grower offers a very approachable and productive form of farming that has proven to work well for the earth and its stewards for centuries.

Some keynotes:

  • Farm-Generated Fertility—how to meet your soil-fertility needs from the resources of your own land, even if manure is not available
  • The Moveable Feast—how to construct home-garden and commercial-scale greenhouses that can be easily moved to benefit plants and avoid insect and disease build-up
  • Pests?—how to find “plant-positive” rather than ”pest-negative” solutions by growing healthy, naturally resistant plants
  • The Information Resource—how and where to learn what you need to know to grow delicious organic vegetables, no matter where you live.

In his foreword, Paul Hawken writes:

The new pioneers are those who restore native land and soil. As biota leaves the soil, so does life vanish from society and civilization as we know it. The act of learning to garden and farm, so sincere and simple on its face, is in the hands of Eliot an act of restoration that has implications far beyond one lifetime. It is a practice. And like any practice, it can only be learned through repetition, dedication, and good teaching. This is the good teaching.

Gardeners working on 2.5 acres or less will find this book especially useful, as it offers proof that small-scale market growers and serious home gardeners can live good lives close to the land and make a profit at the same time. The New Organic Grower is ideal for young farmers just getting started, or gardeners seeking to expand into a more productive enterprise.

New material in this edition includes:

  • Beautiful color photographs taken by master gardener and author Barbara Damrosch (Eliots wife and co-farmer)
  • A new preface positioning the book in the context of the organic farming movement
  • More information on new tools Eliot has invented that dont appear in any of his other books

Organic growing is not complicated. Nor is it difficult. It is the most straightforward way of raising plants. Difficulties usually arise from a misunderstanding of how it works. Once the principles are clear, gardeners from backyard to back forty can tune into the existing balances of the natural system and grow the crops they have always dreamed of.

ecovillages around the world

Ecovillages around the World

20 Regenerative Designs for Sustainable Communities
$24.99 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Findhorn Press
Publication Date: July, 2018
ISBN: 9781844097432
In stock now: 2

In 2015, the United Nations introduced 17 sustainable development goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Aligning perfectly with the practices of ecovillages around the world, these initiatives show that ecovillages and sustainable communities are leading by example as we move into a future focused on partnership, environmental protection, prosperity, and peace for all life and the planet we live in.

Offering a visual tribute to the work ecovillages do to alleviate climate change, social conflict, and environmental damage, including more than 300 full-color photographs, maps, and diagrams, this beautiful book highlights 20 best practice designs from ecovillages around the world to show how we can live lightly on the planet no matter where on earth we live, in all climate zones and cultures.

It demonstrates how ecovillages have already achieved the climate goals all of us are now striving toward through practical lifestyle changes that promote peaceful and joyful coexistence both among people and between people and nature. Far from being only aesthetic choices, these changes give an increased quality of life, healthy homes, delicious organic food, playful interdependence, a new spiritual connection to our living planet, and much more. Through their regenerative, sustainable, and peace-promoting practices, ecovillages continue the culture of traditional village living in a modern way that addresses the critical challenges of our time.

The book features the following 20 ecovillage projects: Hurdal Ecovillage and Hurdal Sustainable Valley, Norway; Svanholm, Denmark; Permatopia, Denmark; Solheimar, Iceland; Lilleoru, Tallin, Estonia; Findhorn, Scotland; Sieben Linden, Germany; Tamera, Portugal; Damanhur, Italy; Torri Superiore, Italy; Kibbutz Lotan, Israel; Sekem, Egypt; Chololo, Tanzania; Tasman Ecovillage, Australia; Narara, Australia; Hua Tao Ecovillage, China; Auroville, India; Ecovillage at Ithaca, New York, USA; Huehuecoyotl, Mexico; Ceo do Mapia, Brazil.

There is only one criterion for “the best” ecovillage and that is whether you actually answer the challenges you face where you are. In this sense, these ecovillages are only a small number of examples, which represent the many thousands of wonderful initiatives constantly popping up all over the world. In a modern day context, all these initiatives represent the BEST of what we humans can do! Thank you. May diversity reign and the seeds of this book multiply! —the editor

growing a revolution

Growing a Revolution

Bringing Our Soil Back to Life
$22.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: WW Norton
Publication Date: July, 2018
ISBN: 9780393356090
In stock now: 2

For centuries agricultural practices have eroded the soil farming depends on, stripping it of organic matter vital to its productivity, and now threatening disaster for the world’s growing population. In Growing a Revolution, geologist David R. Montgomery travels the world, meeting farmers at the forefront of an agricultural movement to restore soil health. From Kansas to Ghana, he sees why adopting the three tenets of conservation agriculture—ditching the plow, planting cover crops, and growing a diversity of crops—is the solution. For when farmers restore fertility to the land it helps feed the world, cool the planet, reduce pollution, and return profitability to family farms.

Seeing farmers across a wide range of social, environmental, and economic settings heal and improve their land faster than I thought possible motivated me to write this book…


The degradation of soils and the loss of organic matter are the most underappreciated environmental crises humanity now faces. But the stage is set for ground-up transformational change, as the short-term interests of farmers increasingly align with preserving long-term soil fertility


Though already underway, the revolution still has a long way to go… Yet if it succeeds, it could solve one of humanity’s most pressing problems: how to keep feeding us all on this lonely rock in space.

“This is a Sand County Almanac of agriculture, a Walden of loam and tilth, a paradigm-bending journey into the principles that guide the life beneath our feet and thus the life that nourishes us.” — Paul Hawken, author of Drawdown

Being a long time ‘doom bat’ regarding the fate of the natural world, I was given hope by Growing a Revolution that there is a real possibility of revolutionizing agriculture with the result of growing more food, employing people, and putting carbon back into the ground. — Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia

letter to a young farmer

Letter to a Young Farmer

How to Live Richly without Wealth on the New Garden Farm
$24.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Chelsea Green
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9781603588065
In stock now: 1

For  decades, the self-described contrary farmer Gene Logsdon has commented on the state of North American agriculture. In Letter to a Young Farmer, his final book of essays, Logsdon addresses the next generation—young people moving back to the land to enjoy a better way of life as small-scale garden farmers. It’s a lifestyle that recognizes the beauty of nature, cherishes the land, respects our fellow creatures, and values rural traditions. It’s one that also looks forward and embraces right technologies, including new and innovative ways of working smarter and avoiding premature burnout.

Completed only a few weeks before the author's death, Letter to a Young Farmer is a remarkable testament to the life and wisdom of one of the greatest rural philosophers and writers of our time. Gene's earthy wit and sometimes irreverent humor combines with his valuable perspectives on many wide-ranging subjects—everything from how to show a ram who's boss to enjoying the almost churchlike calmness of a well-built livestock barn.

Can you imagine what a sea of change would take place in the mad world of money if so many people produced their food in the same spirit with which they now play golf, producing maybe a little more to keep the philosophers well fed?

Reading this book is like sitting down on the porch with a neighbor who has learned the ways of farming through years of long observation and practice. And Gene Logsdon was the best kind of teacher: equal parts storyteller, idealist, and rabble-rouser. His vision of a nation filled with garden farmers, based in cities, towns, and countrysides, will resonate with many people, both young and old, who long to create a more sustainable, meaningful life for themselves and a better world for all of us.

Our ways of degrading the climate are in no way distinguishable from our ways of abusing the land. Because he knows this, he speaks exactly at the intersection of economy and ecology, where the world will or will not be made better. —Wendell Berry, fro m the foreword

essential natural plasters

Essential Natural Plasters

A Guide to Materials, Recipes, and Use
$39.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9780865718708
In stock now: 2

Natural plasters made of clay, lime, and other materials mixed with sand are beautiful building finishes. Fun to work with, low-impact, and allowing infinite creativity, they are high performance and provide proven, centuries-long durability.

Yet until now there's been no resource that has pulled together the best North American plaster recipes and how-to into one place. Essential Natural Plasters covers it all:

  • Sourcing and selecting materials, including site-soils
  • Clay, lime, and gypsum plasters as well as fibers and amendments
  • Interior and exterior use and specialty plasters such as tadelakt for bathrooms
  • Preparing substrates, from straw bales and cob to lath and sheetrock
  • How to set-up a safe, efficient worksite
  • Mixing, testing, tinting, and applying plasters and plaster repair
  • Coveted recipes from leading plasterers in Ontario, Vermont, New Mexico, France, and New Zealand.

Richly illustrated and deeply researched, Essential Natural Plasters is the must-have resource for owner-builders and professionals alike.

mudgirls manifesto

Mudgirls Manifesto

Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives
$29.95 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: New Society
Publication Date: June, 2018
ISBN: 9780865718777
In stock now: 1

In the face of widespread burnout and a world gone crazy, how do we find things to say "yes" to, rather than a resounding "no"?

On North America's West Coast, there's a group of rebel women who ten years ago chose to break free from a rigged economic and social system. They didn't take to the streets to lobby banks and governments to change their ways—they didn't have time for that. They had babies to feed and house. They reckoned that if nobody else was going to change the rules to support basic human needs and respect the biosphere, then we are all free to make our own rules.

They chose action. They decided to teach themselves how to build houses using the most abundant material on earth—mud. They'd learn by building, gathering skills and allies. They'd have fun, sharing whatever they learned with whoever wanted to come along for the ride. The Mudgirls revolution was born.

Part story of rebel women, grassroots self-governance, and community-building, part incendiary political and economic tract, and part practical guide to building natural homes for real people. Mudgirls Manifesto is about respecting the earth, each other, and crafting meaningful lives.

A powerful, positive antidote to troubled times.

The Mudgirls is an all-women's natural building collective that formed in 2007 in coastal British Columbia. Founded on the principle of self-empowerment, they champion the use of natural, local, and salvaged materials, human-scaled DIY solutions, inclusiveness, support for mothers, care for children, and fun. They build things and offer workshops that empower people to take back the right to provide themselves with shelter. The Mudgirls have collaborated with over 50 clients and more than 600 workshop participants from all over the world, forging alliances and honing the skills to build homes. Find out more at

zero waste

Zero Waste

Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash
By: Shia Su
$23.99 CAD
Paperback Book
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication Date: April, 2018
ISBN: 9781510730816
In stock now: 4

Here, from the Vancouver-based blogger of “Wasteland Rebel,” are easy and effective strategies to jumpstart a sustainable, waste-free lifestyle.

We have a worldwide trash epidemic. The average American disposes of 4.4 pounds of garbage per day, and our landfills hold 254 million tons of waste.

What if there were a simple—and fun—way for you to make a difference? What if you could take charge of your own waste, reduce your carbon footprint, and make an individual impact on an already fragile environment?

A zero waste lifestyle is the answer—and Shia Su is living it. Every single piece of unrecyclable garbage Shia has produced in one year fits into a mason jar—and if it seems overwhelming, it isn’t! In Zero Waste, Shia demystifies and simplifies the zero waste lifestyle for the beginner, sharing practical advice, quick solutions, and tips and tricks that will make trash-free living fun and meaningful. Learn how to:

  • Build your own zero waste kit
  • Prepare real food the lazy way
  • Make your own DIY household cleaners and toiletries
  • Be zero waste even in the bathroom!   And more!

Be part of the solution! Implement these small changes at your own pace, and restructure your life to one of sustainable living for your community, your health, and the Earth that sustains us all.