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WATCH: The Hrens Tackle the Carbon-Footprint of Meat Production

It’s clear from this video—just posted on ChelseaGreenTV—that Stephen and Rebekah Hren would much rather be doing something to help solve the problem of a de-localized food supply and excessive meat-eating than talking about it. As you can see in their book, The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit, these are hands-on people. They walk the walk. They put their money where their mouth(s) is (are).

Nevertheless, in this video the Hrens give some quick, useful tips for how you can help out in your own community—by forming food cooperatives with your fellow urban gardeners; cutting down on your meat consumption and eating local, sustainable meat (beef especially); and helping start a farmers market.

RH: Hi. I’m Rebekah Hren, and this is my husband, Stephen Hren. We’re the authors of The Carbon-Free Home, which is a guide to running your house and your life on renewable, sustainable resources.

And we’re talking about how to deal with the problem of carbon emissions from industrial agriculture and excessive meat-eating that’s going on in our culture. And the thing that doesn’t—it’s not something that we have to talk so much about, it’s something that we need to really start doing things about, and a big part of that is to re-localize our food supply. So we need to make available seasonal, local produce, and local dairy and meat products, having people not eat more than they need to. And what we’ve been doing is to start a food co-op in our town—[unintelligible] does not have one—to make these things available. So, for us, a lot of that energy is going towards physically making this food, this fresh food available to people, as opposed to getting the word out so much.

RH: Yeah. So what we’re really focused on is—neither of us are vegetarians, and we don’t believe that vegetarianism should be forced on anyone, but we know that eating industrially-farmed cows, particularly, leads to a multitude of problems: things like methane, which increases global warming. So, what we try and do is we try and eat meat sparingly, we try and figure out where our meat comes from, we try and know the farmers around us that are growing meat sustainably, and we also try and grow some of our own food in our yard. So we have a network of local, urban gardeners that we work with in our city.

SH: Yes, so for us it’s more a matter of doing than talking.


10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More..

50 Low-Cost, Low-Tech Solutions to Save the Planet

Tired of watching people spend so much time thinking up big solutions to big problems that it has a paralyzing effect on taking action? If you’re like author Courtney White, the answer is yes. That’s why in Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, he takes readers on a journey to show how low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions […] Read More..

Beyond the War on Invasive Species – Review in Permaculture Design Magazine

This review was originally published in Permaculture Design, Issue #97, “Life on the Edge,” Fall 2015; www.PermacultureDesignMagazine.com Look in the Mirror Review by Peter Bane For its extensive scholarship, clear voice, and impassioned, hopeful message, this book is a joy to read—a slim but beautifully written teaching text which uses permaculture and ecosystem science as a lens for viewing the […] Read More..

5 Common Invasive Species and How to Manage Them

Last week, we asked authors Tao Orion and Katrina Blair to share alternative approaches to managing five different plant species commonly held to be “invasive.” St. John’s Wort, Garlic Mustard, Thistle, Oxeye Daisy, and Kudzu are often dismissed as annoyances at best and the target of aggressive eradication with harmful chemicals at worst. Orion and […] Read More..

What in the World is a Pawpaw?

Have you heard of the pawpaw? A few generations ago, most would say “yes!” You could ask just about anyone and they could tell you what this fruit looked and tasted like, and more importantly, where to find it. But today, the pawpaw remains a mystery to some and entirely unknown to others. In Pawpaw: […] Read More..
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