The books I checked out were about art, design, crafts, and more. I have a pile of knitting books I've thumbed through, looking for a pattern for my next project. I think I have the idea of what I want to do. I just need to work out some details--and finish the one I'm on!
I got off on a real fiction tangent--maybe it's just summer reading! However, I have been reading Dreaming Green.
Lisa Sharkey and Paul Gleicher, Photographs by Linda Bell Hall, Clarkson Potter 2008.
As you can tell from the picture on the front, this is not a book about cheap-looking recycled junk. Sometimes when I see how cleverly they use "distressed" stuff on HGTV, I find it amusing. Put that distressed stuff in a rich home and it is decorative. Put it in my home and it will just look like more old stuff. It's all a matter of perspective and comparison.
At any rate, the photographs and explanations in this book show that eco-decor can be absolutely fabulous. I suspect that using reclaimed wood and sustainable forests may be more expensive than building the usual way, but that's not the focus of this book.
The focus here is on what you can do to build or decorate an eco-friendly house, either using reclaimed and recycled materials, designing for the best energy conservation, or both. I believe the earth is a gift, and while meant to be used, it should also be maintained and preserved for the future, so I appreciate the many ways the book shows that it can be done.
I think it's a bit like farming, especially the old way. You plant and harvest seed, but you don't eat or sell it all; you save some for seed for next year. If you don't do that, you cannot sustain yourself and support others. I am not about stopping housing development for some rare tiny insect, but I am about taking care of what we have and carrying it forward for future generations. If we use up the earth, what are we leaving for our descendants? That is the question to ponder as we fill our landfills, drive our cars, choose between oven, toaster oven, or stovetop, and choose light bulbs and toilet paper, and more.