About the book

The Toolbox for Sustainable City Living is a DIY guide for creating locally-based, ecologically sustainable communities in today's cities. Its straightforward text, vibrant illustrations and accessible diagrams explain how urbanites can have local access and control over life's essential resources: food production, water security, waste management, autonomous energy, and bioremediation of toxic soils. Written for people with limited financial means, the book emphasizes building these systems with cheap, salvaged and recycled materials when possible. This book will be an essential tool for transitioning into a sustainable future threatened by the converging trends of global warming and energy depletion.

Topics covered in the book include:

  • Aquaculture: ponds, plants, fish and algae
  • Microlivestock and city chickens
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Low-tech bioremediation: cleaning contaminated soils using plants, fungi and bacteria
  • Constructed Wetlands/ Greywater
  • Autonomous energy: bicycle windmills, passive solar
  • Biofuels: veggie oil vehicles, methane digesters
  • Struggles for land and gentrification
  • Humanure and worm composting
  • Floating Islands to clean stormwater
  • Asphalt removal and air purification
  • And much more!

About the Authors:

Scott Kellogg and Stacy Pettigrew are co-founders of the Rhizome Collective, a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas. Over the past seven years, they have transformed a burnt-out warehouse into the Rhizome Collective: a thriving Center for Community Organizing and Educational Center for Urban Sustainability.

Stacy and Scott both have extensive experience in the fields of ecological design and community activism. Stacy is Rhizome's Program Coordinator and Scott is the Director of the Educational Center for Urban Sustainability. They have designed and built numerous sustainable systems for display as teaching models, including constructed wetlands, rainwater collectors, aquaculture ponds, windmills, passive solar devices, and bioremediation tools. They also created and host RUST, an intensive weekend seminar in urban ecological survival skills. Scott and Stacy have authored numerous articles on sustainability and the Rhizome Collective and frequently give presentations on radical sustainability at universities and political gatherings across the country. They have taught workshops in locations as diverse as the Bronx to East Timor. Scott has also been active in building a community based bioremediation program in post-Katrina New Orleans.

About the Artists:

Beth Ferguson and Juan Martinez have been part of the ecological art movement on many fronts. They started working together by organizing 20 person bicycle circus tours. They co-founded Bikes Across Borders, an Austin-based organization that has sent over 600 bikes to community groups on the US/Mexico border, in Chiapas, Mexico, and Cuba. Juan has produced illustrations for the last six years with the Beehive Collective (www.beehivecollective.org) Beth has been working with the Green Map System, which promotes ecological and cultural resources, as a graphic designer and special projects coordinator. She earned a BA in Ecological Design and Community Development from Hampshire College.

David Bailey has been an activist artist for many years.  He founded the RPM Puppet Conspiracy in 1999, which has built and performed many puppet shows around the themes of sustainability, ecological and social justice, mutual aid, and the abolition of capitalism.  David creates original woodcut prints as a means of conveying simple political messages. He sells them primarily on tours under the Cheap Art philosophy, which holds that art is meant to be accessible and affordable for everyone, all of the time.  In addition to performance, David also earns his bread and butter working as a carpenter and natural builder.  He has built dozens of earthen homes from New Mexico to Thailand, too many composting toilets to count, and remodeled numerous structures to be more pleasant, functional, and sustainable spaces.