Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Gardening Eden April 24, 2009

Filed under: Book reviews — erikaivory @ 1:01 pm

This is Earth Week.  As you can tell from the last couple of posts I certainly appreciate the beauty of creation and how it draws us back to our Creator, however I am truly not an outside kind of gal.  Don’t love camping, bugs or sadly enough the discomfort that being outside can often bring.

I also wouldn’t normally throw myself into the “green” camp.  I appreciate the heart of those that are and I have been trying really hard to do my part in small ways, but I didn’t “get” the passion behind the movement.  I also kind of felt a little uncomfortable associating myself with many things “green” because I have always sensed that somehow I was associating myself with “the left”.  (Lots of quotation marks goin’ on today:)

Then I read Gardening Eden by Michael Abbate.  Wow!  My eyes were really opened to all things “green”.  Abbate has done a wonderful job at bridging the Christian conservative perspective and the liberal green perspective.  Just being honest here.  He makes tremendous points regarding our responsibility as descendants of Adam to be caretakers for this earth, for the legacy we are leaving the next generation through our care of creation and all the things we have to gain by investing in the earth.

He honestly opened my eyes to the joy and fulfillment I can find by doing little things that can make a difference in my life and will teach my family an attitude of responsibility.  So many other “green” talks I have heard left me feeling overwhelmed.  I have always felt that little choices really don’t affect anything so why take the time to make these changes.  However, I have a renewed hope that I answer to the Creator for the way I live my life and little things like using less water, recycling what I can and using reusable shopping bags DO make a difference and are worth the trouble.

Abbate gives 50 realistic ways to live “green” and to help yourself out econcomically as well.  He talks about making one small change at a time and daily doing what you can.  He also includes a great list in the back of websites, organizations and resources to help you out in the process.  I love his attitude and down-to-earth, godly perspective.  I highly recommend this positive, easy-to-read and encouraging book.  He does include some statistics and numbers but many more practical takeaways.

The thing I loved the most was that throughout the entire book Abbate maintains a Kingdom mindset.  And as you learn his history a bit throughout the book, he has a great background in faith and professional expertise.  So this weekend link over to and buy this book or run down to your local bookstore.  It would be a great gift for anyone you know that is striving to live “green.”

Below I have included Michael Abbate’s bio summary.  And as for me I now own quite a few reusable shopping bags (just need to remember to take them in the store with me:), we have changed our light bulbs, trying to limit our water usage, we are trying to use more tap water instead of bottled water and I even bought a tomato plant!  So Go Green!

Author Bio:

A nationally recognized expert in “green” development strategies, Mike Abbaté is a founder of GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture design firm. He frequently speaks to students and leaders about practical ways to minimize the impact of building and landscape design on natural resources. Abbaté’s work has been featured in national magazines such as Metropolis and Landscape Architecture and in many local newspapers and trade publications. He and his wife, Vicki, have two adult daughters and live near Portland, Oregon.

Cover Art:


One Response to “Gardening Eden”

  1. Vanessa Says:

    I’m going to have to check out this book – I was intrigued when I first saw it at your house. And, yeah for reusable shopping bags! I don’t remember them all of the time, but I do feel it helps the times I do take them in.

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