Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash

Garbology digs through our epic piles of trash to reveal not just what we throw away, but who we are and where our society is headed. Are we destined to remain the country whose number-one export is scrap—America as China’s trash compactor—or will the country that invented the disposable economy pioneer a new and less wasteful path? The real secret at the heart of Garbology may well be the potential for a happy ending buried in our landfill. Waste, Humes writes, is the one environmental and economic harm that ordinary working Americans have the power to change—and prosper in the process.

The Story of Stuff

Ever wonder where your trash ends up? Annie Leonard did. To answer her own question, she traced products from their inception to disposal, tracking along the way how they were disposed of and what "away" actually meant. What she found reveals the sad state our products face at the end of their useful lives. This work will make you rethink the way products are designed and the impacts of throwing away your trash.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

A landmark work by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, this text discusses ways in which we can design for "upcycling" or the reuse of products into more valuable components at the end of their lives. McDonough and Braungart cast aside the traditional "cradle to grave" way of thinking about product design and instead propose designing for decomposition and reuse of components in a manner that creates new and better value than the original parts. Through case studies in products, buildings, and even communities, the authors pave a way for reshaping the world in a more sustainable mold.

Natural Capitalism

Written by the founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Amory Lovins, along with Paul Hawken and L.Hunter Lovins, this book describes the way in which we can change our thinking on resource use to include environmental considerations. The authors describe the steps needed to transition to an economy based not on traditional economic capitalism but on low-cost and low-impact resources. Through ecological thinking, some clever biomimicry, and consideration of the full life-cycle costs of resource use, the authors propose a framework for achieving a truly sustainable global society. Through its progressive, scientifically-founded, and balanced thinking, it has become a cornerstone of modern environmental thought.

Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide by David Bergman

"Written for students and practitioners in the fields of architecture and interior design, our new Architecture Brief Sustainable Design provides a concise overview of all the techniques available for reducing the energy footprint of structures and spaces. With clear, simple language and a practical "can-do" approach, author David Bergman covers everything from the profession's ethical responsibility, to design structures and spaces that sustain our natural resources, to specific considerations such as rainwater harvesting, graywater recycling, passive heating techniques, solar orientation, green roofs, wind energy, daylighting, indoor air quality, material evaluation and specification, and how to work with green building certification programs." TreeHugger Review by a SD professor at

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature

A seminal work in the field of biomimicry by Janine Benyus, a science writer and lecturer, that describes how many manmade systems replicate in form or function ecological and natural systems. Furthermore, these case studies show that in our challenge to reduce resources, energy, and overall impact on the environment, looking deeper at the natural world can provide insight on how to maintain and enhance our lifestyle while reducing our footprint.


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