Goods and services

Kāpiti Coast District Libraries’ book list, Sustainable Living, covers natural housekeeping, plant medicine and alternative remedies in the Home/Health section. A copy is in your folder or at

The book list also contains some relevant books in the Business section, including Cradle To Cradle: rethinking the way we make things by William McDonough. McDonough’s book takes the consideration of industrial design and management and production waste a step further than cradle-to-grave analysis by introducing recycling as the end-of-life disposal step. Cradle-to-grave analysis (also known as life cycle analysis, LCA, or ecobalance) assesses all the impact associated with all the stages of a process from cradle-to-grave (i.e., from raw materials through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling). Both analyses are an attempt to move beyond the prevalent cradle-to-gate model in which the product life-cycle is only partially assessed from manufacture (‘cradle’) to the factory gate (i.e., before it is transported to the consumer). The use phase and disposal phase of the product are usually omitted.

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford is a philosophical treatise on both how we value different types of work and our relationship with the built,

material world. Crawford says, “A decline in tool use would seem to betoken a shift in our mode of inhabiting the world: more passive and more dependent. And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them. What ordinary people once made, they buy; and what they once fixed for themselves, they replace entirely or hire an expert to repair, whose expert fix often involves installing a pre-made replacement part”. The original essay from which the book came can be found at

Domestic Goddess on a Budget by Wendyl Nissen is a New Zealand guide to making your own natural cleaning and beauty products book. Copies are held by Kapiti Coast Libraries (640.41 NIS). Wendyl also has a website with recipes for cleaning, pet, baby and beauty recipes, and a shop selling her books and products (

Grow Your Own Drugs: easy recipes for natural remedies and beauty fixes by James Wong is a UK book but very relevant to NZ. Held by Kapiti Coast District Libraries at 615.321 WON

Or more locally, Helen Heath, self-described writer and new media maven, book marketer and copywriting whiz from the Coast, has a great list of eco-friendly cleaner recipes on her blog at She also has some nice body care recipes for doing without commercial shampoo/conditioner, and making your own toothpaste, baby wipes, bath bombs and bath salts –

The Ministry for Economic Development has developed a directory to improve the availability of information about ecolabels and other sustainability indicators. It provides summary information about each label, and users are encouraged to access further detail from ecolabel owner websites using the links provided.

Ecobob New Zealand’s great generalist website for all things related to eco-friendly living: eco-friendly houses/homes, products and services, sustainable design, eco news/events/information, online shop and a chat forum.

What can I do about clothing waste? Clothing was once highly valued, handed down, and recycled but cheap offshore production and synthetics have changed that. Information on the amount of clothing sent to New Zealand landfills is not currently available but a United Kingdom study found that an average of 30 kilograms of clothing and textiles per person is wasted by being sent to landfills each year.

Brave enough to take The Pledge? Wardrobe Re-Fashion is a website dedicated to abstaining from buying new clothing and instead refashioning, renovating and recycling preloved items of clothing for an agreed period of time. Have a look at the links for some inspiration.


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