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A Garden of Top of the World
"This is the way the world is fed."
The year is 2066 and life in Greenland is much warmer, more crowded, and lacking in fresh food. Sixteen-year-old Jonnie lives in the Relocation city of Shamed. Hundred-story high rise buildings house extended families from American coastal cities relocated after the Sixth Sea Rise. Work and school are conducted from overcrowded apartments, and homeless people camp out in the streets.
Jonnie's parents run a high-tech call center where numerous family members work day and night. She shares a bedroom with her much older nieces. For quiet and privacy, Jonnie retreats to the empty rooftop.
Red is a homeless man who takes up temporary residence in a pigeon coop on the roof. After Red talks about the seeds in the birds' droppings, Jonnie gets interested. The family business has just been awarded a lucrative contract from Monarcho, the international conglomerate that holds patents to much of the world's seeds. Jonnie knows little about how food grows because meals come in packages ordered online and delivered by drone. Dishes are manufactured in the home using 3D printers.
Armed with a new understanding of old-fashioned garden-grown food, Jonnie is determined to create her own garden on the roof of her high rise. With Red as her guide, she meets a former cryosphere scientist, a botanist with an urban indoor garden, and Drew and Darr, twins her own age who live in the next building and want to help out.
Jonnie's search for who she is and what she might be able to offer the world is one that will resonate with readers of all ages. The information she learns about healthy food, sustainable agriculture, and urban gardens may inspire readers.
A cautionary tale with depth and humor, A GARDEN ON TOP OF THE WORLD is environmental fiction for ages 12 and up. Includes resources on gardening, urban gardens, heirloom seeds, and organic foods.
Mottainai: A Journey in Search of the Zero Waste Life
"Mottainai feels like sacrifice at first. Then it feels like the only way to live."
Mottainai means waste. Popular with the Japanese for generations, mottainai (pronounced moe-tie-nye) is the Buddhist term for essence. One can say mottainai and mean "waste nothing." Or, if something appears wasteful, one might remark, "mottainai."
A kind of modern day fairy tale, MOTTAINAI: A JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF THE ZERO WASTE LIFE is the story of a young man who has everything and feels nothing but frustration. Until he meets an unusual stranger and learns about a program to teach us how little we really need—and why living differently is important for each of us, and for the planet.
A typical American Millennial, Greer Grassi stumbles on a grassroots movement to change the world. More interested in material accumulation and boosting his bank account, he puts his lifestyle of comfort on hold after he falls for a charming activist. To woo the girl, he takes a job at her nonprofit organization and embarks on the wacky but required training program in rural Japan. There, he lives off the grid with a cranky guru who talks trash and drinks too much. Yet, mottainai is the journey that will change the young man's outlook—and his life.
An ancient Japanese philosophy popularized worldwide by the late African activist Wangari Maathai, mottainai is both an individual consciousness and a global movement toward zero waste. To support this important worldview, MOTTAINAI: A JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF THE ZERO WASTE LIFE provides an entertaining story, an allegory about what it takes for us to change our comfortable, wasteful lifestyle in order to save our beautiful, beleaguered planet.
Includes tips for cutting back on waste.
Available on Amazon for $5.99 per copy.
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All material copyright © 2016, Food and Nutrition Resources Foundation, Inc.