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Published on April 3rd, 2008 | by Chad Randall Crawford

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The Good Book of Green Living: “The Self-Sufficientish Bible”

51qnl8kxofl_sl500_aa240_.jpgIf a book contains the word “Bible” in its title, the author is often claiming a measure of authority over the subject. It’s a little pretentious, and really annoying, when a book comes out called The Car Buyer’s and Leaser’s Negotiating Bible or The Screenwriter’s Bible.

So when a book came out touting itself as “the Bible” of green living, I was a little put off. But when I read more about The Self-Sufficientish Bible, I noticed that this one was different. By adding “ish,” the authors are making the statement that self-sufficiency is not something easily accomplished with a few simple rules.

Andy and Dave, Britain’s green twins, advocate a fun and positive approach to environmentalism, and understand that the thought of adjusting every aspect of our lives is overwhelming and possibly offputting. Hence self-sufficientish. If you don’t have the space or time to be totally self-reliant, but crave creative ideas for recycling, growing organic vegetables and establishing an environmentally friendly home office, this is the book for you.

In this case, the implied authority in the title is playful. This book contains practical ways we can make positive changes in our lives while recognizing our limitations.

Insofar as the Bible (or any religious text) inspires us to achieve ethical perfection, a standard we struggle to even define let alone live up to, but also leaves room for grace when we fall short, the title is entirely appropriate.

The Self-Sufficientish Bible is based on the website selfsufficientish.com.



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4 Responses to The Good Book of Green Living: “The Self-Sufficientish Bible”

  1. Bobby B. says:

    Environmental Pet Peeve No. 27 – “Organic” Produce

    What exactly is the definition of organic produce?

    All life – as we know it – is carbon based (ergo “organic”). Is there anyone out there growing non-carbon based (inorganic) fruits and vegetables? Terms like siliconatoes, sandaloupes, neongerines, etc. would indicate truly inorganic produce. The lack of such items probably explains why my inorganic produce stand went bankrupt inside of two weeks. That, plus people were smart enough to realize that being absent the various carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) chains rendered such produce devoid of energy and useless for consumption. I’m not even going to mention the reaction I got to the radioactive plutonoplants.

    But seriously, I know that you guys are actually referring to produce grown via the “old school” ways. Such methods include using fecal-based fertilizers, avoiding herbicides or pesticides as much as possible, and staying preservative (including irradiation) free. Why in this instance has the term “natural” been shunned for the term “organic”? I personally feel that it is merely a marketing technique. The term “natural” has to some extent gone out of style, so to snag the attention of the consumer today’s term “organic” is now on the label. It’s a good thing that most kids graduate from high school without any knowledge of organic versus inorganic chemistry.

  2. Bobby… That’s an interesting question. To my knowledge, it’s simply the term that was used decades ago when this “movement” started, and it’s stuck. More importantly, “organic” now generally means something: there are standards for organic labeling. “Natural,” on the other hand, has no standards attached to it, so it’s the label you have to be careful about…

    You know… this would be a good topic for the discussion forums… ;-)

  3. Being self-sufficient can often mean the opposite of being green. Take a stupid (but important) example: I can build my own house and drill my own water well (self-sufficient) or live in a group house and drink from a common tap. I can raise my own carrots and rabbits, or I can drill water wells in exchange for someone elses’s food.

    Many eco-people have a distaste for the market when what they really dislike is (conspicuous) consumption. A bit of trade and interdependence is GOOD for the environment (more of my thoughts on sustainability.

  4. Dave says:

    Bobby – hilarious, I can imagine a market stall with the stall holders bellowing, ‘Get your Gallium Arsenide, only 50 pence a microgram’. You’re absolutely right of course the term ‘Organic’ doesn’t make any sense to anyone with any kind of Chemistry training. It’s a shame the term natural wasn’t used when the movement first started.

    Thanks for the review Chad you’ve definitely grasped the ‘ish’ part of the title.

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