Why spend countless hours indoors in front of screens when being in nature feels so good? In learning why and how to nurture our emotional connection with nature, we can also regenerate the ecosystems on which we depend for our survival.
Renewal explores the science behind why being in nature makes us feel alive and helps us thrive. Using personal experiences and cutting-edge research in cognitive science, this book weaves delightful stories that:
Reveal nature's genius and impacts on our lives from physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual perspectives
Explore how emulating nature is yielding design breakthroughs with biomimicry and biophilic design
Highlight the importance of compassion and coexisting with wildlife in designing our conservation strategies
Describe the significance of nurturing an ecological ethic that supports a reciprocal relationship with nature.
Whether you are drawn to conservation or are interested in the science behind human behavior, Renewal will help create a blueprint for integrating nature with a life of creativity, compassion, and joy."
About the Author New Society Publishing says "Andrés R. Edwards is an educator, award-winning author, media designer, and sustainability consultant. He is founder and president of EduTracks, a firm specializing in developing education programs and consulting services on sustainable practices for green building and business initiatives. He has worked as a producer, exhibit developer, and consultant for projects in natural history, biodiversity, and sustainability."
I think Renewal does a good job of fulfilling the mission that it set out to accomplish, as I think it stated well in the Foreword:
"Our choices are based on our values. Renewal explores how we can nurture an ecocentric ethic, which encompasses a reciprocal relationship with nature where we use natural resources wisely and enhance the biodiversity of nonhuman species."
I commend the author for the organization and formatting in the book, because this is something I deeply appreciate for its ability to make things easier and more enjoyable to read. Each chapter begins with a picture related to that chapter, a few quotes that hit the essence of that chapter, and of course, the chapter title and number. Then, there is usually a personal anecdote of some sort to start the discussion that Andres Edwards would like to get into for that chapter. This is then followed by a short explanation of the topic, usually supported with evidence of some kind. Then, the chapters are broken into sections, which go into specific nuances about the subject of that chapter. Throughout each chapter, there are usually a few nice and inspiring images related to the discussions of that chapter. Lastly, each chapter ends with a series of questions of suggested exercises to help with incorporating and practicing that aspect of ecocentric ethics into one's life or community.
I appreciated how thoroughly cited the book is, because that indicated to me how much work the author has done into understanding the topic at hand. I also liked the many quotes that Andres used from the sources he referenced.
The section at the end of the book Resources (in their own words) was particularly nice, because I like to have places to go to for further information when I want to delve deeper into certain topics.
I found the stories and research used to explain the many facets of what an ecocentric ethic is and how to incorporate it to be well-chosen, compelling, and highly informative. I appreciated the name-dropping in the book of about other people and their work, because it made it very easy for me to find out more. I liked the discussions on using beauty and emotion to inspire action the most, because I similarly do not believe that emotional beings (which I think most people are) will be compelled to act by data alone.
So, that was the being a fair reviewer part. I think the book was well-executed and accomplished its mission well. However, for the personal bias stuff, I found the book to be mostly preaching to the choir, for me at least. i found that a lot of information in Renewal was stuff that I had already encountered or learned about at multiple earlier points in my life from my own personal interests or classes or exploring Nature. So, I think this book would be good for people who are new to the concepts of land stewardship, ecology, human-nature interactions, and self-care. Using the Wheaton Eco Scale, I would recommend this book for people with knowledge around Level 0 to Level 1. I think this is an awesome book for getting started, and I think the numerous references, citations, and compiled list of resources will do a lot for swaying skeptical people and in convincing others to start caring for the earth and themselves more. For me, I think I will mostly keep this book and refer back to it for the Resources section at the end of the book, I'm always looking for new sources of wonderful information to devour on topics I know little about!