Treasures on the Shelves: A story of good books and sunshine

Published 10:00 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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As we begin the spring season, we see growth and renewal symbolized by the color green. April 22 is Earth Day and many of the celebrations and activities focus on ecological awareness and sustainability. Webster’s dictionary defines sustainability as the “quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.” 

As “going green” has become more than a catchphrase, there are many books to help expand awareness. One of my favorite books on this topic is “Attainable Sustainable” by Kris Bordessa. I’ve written about this book before but I’ve learned so much from it that it deserves another mention. Full of do-it-yourself information on everything from food, handicrafts and the rewards of getting back into a natural way of living, this book has something for everyone. 

Here in Lunenburg, we are fortunate to have many thrift and consignment stores. Since “fast” fashion is one of the most environmentally degrading businesses, buying even a few items second-hand can have a huge impact. “Wear, Repair, Repurpose” by Lily Fulop takes thrifting to the next level with creative ideas for repurposing and upcycling clothing, from basic mending to fancy embroidery. 

Even when we have plenty of spring rains, summer often brings drought and water shortages to many parts of the U.S. Water sustainability is, and will be, an enormous result of climate change. “Superman’s Not Coming” by Erin Brockovich (from the eponymous movie) takes an unflinching look at the water crisis in our country, from microplastics and chemicals to the availability of clean water for all citizens. This book encourages grass roots action by people who want to change things for the better. 

Economic sustainability is the subject of Beth Macy’s “Factory Man”, a fascinating and inspiring true story of how the owners of the Bassett Furniture Company resisted the lure of easy profits that would have come from off-shoring their manufacturing and instead fought to keep their business local, thus saving hundreds of jobs and delivering a product proudly made in America. 

Celebrate spring by reading a good book in the sunshine! 

Holly Howze is the branch manager for the Ripberger Public Library located in Kenbridge. She can be reached at