NB These are not recommendations, but possible sources of help, advice and inspiration.

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CAT (Centre for Alternative Technology)

Education and visitor centre, runs courses on topics including self build, alternative energy, organic growing, woodland management. Sells books on these topics. Free advice and information service.     (formerly Low Impact Living Initiative)

‘This site is for everyone wishing to gain skills and live more sustainably.  Browse the boxes for 220+ topics, each with introduction, books, magazines, articles, videos, advice, courses, products and services, links and more.’


The Energy Saving Trust

‘We are a leading and trusted organisation helping people save energy every day. We are independent and impartial so the advice we give is all about helping you.’


 AECB (Association for Environment Conscious Building)

‘AECB members offer low energy eco-building services, skills and trades around the UK.’  Searchable directory to find services around your area.’


Freegle (UK run) and Freecycle (US run)

‘The Freegle and Freecycle networks are grassroots volunteer run movements of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own communities. In lots of areas, there are both Freecycle and Freegle groups.’


The Vegetarian Society

‘The Vegetarian Society is the place to go for everything you want to know about the world of vegetarian food. Its mission is to inspire, inform and enable people to be vegetarian.’


The Vegan Society

‘The Vegan Society is an educational charity that provides information and guidance on various aspects of veganism, including to new and potential vegans, caterers, healthcare professionals, educators and the media.’


Ethical Consumer

‘We are an independent, not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder co-operative with open membership, based in Manchester.We provide all the tools and resources you need to make choices at the checkout simple, informed and effective.’


The Soil Association

‘The Soil Association, formed in 1946, is the only UK charity which works across the spectrum of human health, the environment and animal welfare. That’s because we cannot tackle these issues in isolation.’


Campaigning Organisations


The Green Party

‘Our Political Programme sets out what Greens are in politics to do: to end the system that keeps hurting the environment and all of us who rely on it – and to build a better alternative.’


Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

‘We are part of an international community dedicated to protecting the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We lead campaigns, provide resources and information, and drive real solutions to the environmental problems facing us all.’


Population Matters

‘Population Matters is a UK-based charity which campaigns to achieve a sustainable human population, to protect the natural world and improve people’s lives.’ 




Global Problems and Possible Solutions 

All these book emphasise the world-wide nature of the problem and how it can only be solved if we all work together.

The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. This all about inequality in our time and how it is the cause of many social problems.

How We Can Save the Planet by Mayer Hillman, Our one -time President. How we can employ the world’s human and technological resources to save the planet.

10 Billion by Stephen Emmott. about the rise of all graphs including human numbers which are a threat to us all.

Planet Overload by A.J. McMichael. Also about what it says, but at much greater length and detail than Emmott.

The Social Control of Technology by David Collingridge. A topic I have been interested in for years suggesting that advances of technology should be controlled by a disinterested group of publicly chosen experts rather than private industry and the market.

Crisis Without End by Andrew Gamble. A book on economics stemming from the 2008 recession. The crisis is about making capitalism stable, but it will never be so until it abandons continual growth in the economy.

Waste- uncovering the global food scandal by Tristram Stuart. About the enormous waste of food world-wide whilst many go hungry.

Half Earth – our planet’s fight for life by Edward O. Wilson. The case for giving half the planet’s area over to wild life, free of human encroachment and exploitation.

Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson. An economist with concern for the environment about how we can live in harmony with the planet.

The Meaning of the 21st Century by James Martin. This is about the massive and rapid change taking place in our time and what we must do to be able to live with it.


Individual Actions


Simple Living

 ‘The Lilypad List’ by Marian van Eyk McCain ISBN 1-84409-037-X

A guide (with plenty of food for thought) to creating a simpler life tailored to each individual’s circumstances.


Cooking without Meat or Fish

 You can find many free recipes on-line but the books below give some easy, tasty and nutritious ones to get you started.


‘Cheap and Easy’ by Rose Elliot ISBN-10: 0722539487

‘Vegan Cooking for One’ by Leah Leneman ISBN-10: 9780722539231


Decluttering and Organising


‘Organising from the Inside Out’ by Julie Morgenstern ISBN 0 340 79466 6

This is the first book I found which made sense to me. It explores reasons for failing to get organised, and helps you to work with your natural habits when organising spaces into activity zones. It also  gives basic organising principles plus a way of planning what to do. This in no way does it justice. It was reviewed in the past in Living Green.


‘Winning the Clutter War’ by Sandra Felton (Previously ‘The Messies Manual’)                                 ISBN 978-0-8007-8809-4

If the first book doesn’t help, you may be one of those who doesn’t notice the surroundings. This book is for a certain type of person and helps with very simple suggestions to get you to change your way of thinking. For example, the ten minute tidy, stow as you go, if it takes less than 30 seconds, do it now.


‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo ISBN 9780091955106

An inspirational book, good on folding clothes to get you drawers organised. Offers another method of evaluating you possessions.




‘The Natural Paint Book’ by Lynn Edwards, Julia Lawless ISBN 10: 0875969143

Gives recipes for making your own paint but also explains the possible toxic effects of some paint ingredients and the environmental and energy costs of extracting titanium dioxide, used as a white pigment in paint.


Scientific Basis of Climate Change


The Atmosphere Gallery, the Science Museum, London

If you are in London, the explanation of the science behind how climate is created and evidence used to predict the possible time scale and extent of global warming are well presented in a low-energy use modern gallery with lots of visual aids. I’m not so sure about some of the possible solutions to the problem which are offered.


Simple and Quiet Places to Stay


Bamford Quaker Community

Simple self-catering accommodation in the beautiful Peak District. Vegetarian food only allowed. Easy public transport access.


Holy Isle Centre for World Peace and Health

Beautiful small island off Arran in Scotland. Very small boat from Lamlash on Arran to the island so will not sail in rough weather; you should allow for extra days on the island just in case. Sailings are tide dependent so check before booking transport. Vegetarian food only.