From the New Society Book Publishers on what the book is about:
Depletion and Abundance explains how we are living beyond our means with or without a peak oil/climate change crisis and that, either way, we must learn to place our families and local communities at the center of our thinking once again. The author presents strategies to create stronger homes, better health and a richer family life and to live comfortably with an uncertain energy supply prepare children for a hotter, lower energy, less secure world survive and thrive in an economy in crisis, and maintain a kitchen garden to supply basic food needs. Most importantly, readers will discover that depletion can lead to abundance, and the anxiety of these uncertain times can be turned into a gift of hope and action. An unusual family perspective on he topic, this book will appeal to all those interested in securing a future for their children and grandchildren.
And my review after reading it:
- The author has 4 very young children, one with down syndrome - she relates many parts of the book to her siutation with her family. She dedicates an entire section (6 "Parts" with about 3-4 chapters in each "Part) to population, family values, and kids. Never having children, these parts were not attention-getting for me, but parents will be intrigued by some of her ideas if you are raising your kids green.
- Ever hear of homesteading? That pretty much sums up what the author focuses on the entire book. Things like living off the grid, growing and preserving everything yourself. It goes beyond buying local and gets you to think about making it on your own all by yourself. Supplying your own water without electricity, cook with solar stoves, out door ovens, composting toilets, etc. Even thinking about the house you live in - is it "smart" to stay there. For me, it was a bit overboard -- almost, dare I say, radical. I understand the point she was making - that someday this may be how it will be - but it seemed far-fetched to me. I can't imagine our government would let this happen.
- WHAT I GOT OUT OF IT: We live way, way beyond our needs and are extremely wasteful. The chinese really do get a kick out of making useless products for dumb Americans to buy. It got me thinking about saving some energy (why do we need 2 lights on in this room?), growing a huge garden next year and preserving as much of my own food as possible, letting my hair grow one length so I don't have to spend $$ getting it "trimmed" every 5-6 weeks, stop buying clothes! - what a huge waste. I have enough clothing and shoes to last me a lifetime - especially since I'm done working in two years. Stop driving everywhere and so much... ride bike more! I joke with Rick about the carts we are getting for our bikes to go to the grocery store when we retire (we stop on our way home now -- no extra trips if we can help it). And lastly, and likely most importantly, the value of family. I need to spend more time with them AND my dear husband.