Our friend and colleague Catherine ZHOU kindly translated some introductory sections from Karen Christensen’s  in-progress book Home Ecology. Versions of these tips were included in some of her previous books, and she is busy compiling and writing a new guide that will focus on preparing for climate change, but also deal with other issues close to home. More on Karen’s environmental work is here.

An Introduction 引言 to Home Ecology

This is a book about ecology, a science that studies something very simple: homes, and the relations and networks that make them work. It sounds 21st-century, doesn’t it, a science that is all about networking? But this kind of networking doesn’t just apply to people: it’s about how all forms of life interact. My first book, written with a toddler pulling on my arm and a second baby growing inside me, was called Home Ecology. Now those kids are grown up, and that persistent little boy lives on the other side of the world. The idea of a planetary home is more tangible to me now.

这是一本关于生态学的书,生态学这门科学就是研究非常简单的东西:家园,以及使它们发挥作用的各种关系网络。 这听起来非常“二十一世纪”,对吧?但是这门科学不仅限于人与人之间——生态学研究的是所有生命形式之间的互动。我写的第一本书取名《家庭生态》,写作那本书时我那蹒跚学步的大孩子还拽着我的胳膊走路,且我正怀着第二个孩子。如今孩子们都长大了,那个固执的小男孩现在已经生活在世界的另一端,行星家园的想法现在对我来说更加切实。

In the years since then, a lot has changed for the better. Buying a nontoxic paint was difficult and very expensive. Today, ordinary lines of household paint smell better, work better, and meet standards we could hardly have imagined back then. Renewable energy has surged; coal production has fallen.


But the pressure of population and rising living standards means that the human impact on the planet keeps growing.


The most important tips for greener living 绿色生活最重要的注意事项

  • Take special care over major purchases like buying a car or refrigerator, or installing a new roof or a heating system. Don’t agonize over a plastic bag!
  • 购买大宗商品应该尤其注意,如汽车或冰箱,或者安装新屋顶或供暖系统。而不是仅仅纠结于一个塑料袋!
  • Be a leader: if you have the money, you can make a big difference by being among the first to adopt a new technology, such as solar water heater or an electric car.
  • 当一个领导者:如果你有这个经济能力,你可以成为第一批使用新技术的人,比如太阳能热水器或者电力车,使你的绿色生活发生巨大改变。
  • Watch your weight: anything heavy takes a lot of energy to ship.
  • 控制好你的体重:任何重物都需要花更多的能源来运输。
  • Imitate nature: choose products and methods made from natural materials that can be reused or that will biodegrade.
  • 模仿自然:选择那些使用天然原材料和方法制成的,可以循环使用或者降解的产品。
  • Buy things that have already had one owner.
  • 购买二手商品。
  • Share tools, exotic cookware, even a car, with friends or neighbors.
  • 与朋友或邻居共享工具、异国情调的炊具,甚至汽车。
  • If it doubt, choose the cheapest method. It’s likely to be eco-friendly.
  • 如果有疑问,尽量选择最便宜的方法。 它可能是环保的。
  • Follow William Morris’s rule: “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
  • 遵循威廉莫里斯的原则:“不要在你的房子里留下任何你不知道是否有用或者只是认为漂亮的东西。”

Tips for eating locally 选择当地生产的食品

  • Grow your own, even on a very small scale. You can’t get more local than tomatoes from your own garden.
  • 可以种植你自己的食物,哪怕你只有很小的地。没有比自己菜园里的西红柿更本土化的食物了。
  • When it comes to beer and wine, support your local breweries and wineries. Don’t get hung up on the varietals or hops from some far-flung locale…artisans in your region will appreciate your business and with financial encouragement the quality of local varieties will only improve.
  • 至于要喝啤酒和葡萄酒,应该支持本地的酿酒厂和酒窖。不要沉迷于很远地区的品种或啤酒花……本地酒农会很欣赏你光顾他们的产品,于是有了经济方面的支持,当地品种的质量更会得到提高。

Tips when you can’t quite go organic当你无法全部选用有机产品时的注意事项

  • Beware of perfect-looking produce: if it’s too pretty it’s probably less natural than you’d like.
  • 当心那些看上去很完美的产品:如果它们太漂亮,也可能不如你想要的那样自然。
  • Buy domestically grown produce in season—these generally contain fewer pesticide residues.
  • 买应季的本地产品— 一般它们含有的杀虫剂残留物会比较少些。
  • Wash all produce in plain water or a mild solution of biodegradable washing-up liquid and water.
  • 使用普通水或可生物降解的洗涤液去清洗农产品。
  • Peel non-organic produce to remove surface residues completely.
  • 非有机的农产品,吃的时候要去皮,这样可以彻底去除表面的残留物。

Tips for your health, and the planet’s health 如何保护你的健康和地球的的健康

  • Eat a wide variety of foods and food varieties, including plenty of wholefoods, fruits and vegetables, and reduce your intake of animal products.
  • 选择多种多样的食品,包括未经加工处理的食物、水果和蔬菜,并减少肉制品的摄入量
  • Buy foods from close to home and those grown organically or by IPM methods.
  • 购买那些离家近且用有机方式或者侧重生态系统,控制农药的IPM方式培养的食品。
  • Buy foods in season and with simple packaging.
  • 购买应季的食品,并选用简易包装。

From Chapter One 第一章

Tips for home cooking 家庭烹饪小贴士

  • Buy in bulk and stock your pantry with staples that will last.
  • 尽可能多买一些能存放较久长时间的主粮放在储存室。
  • Simplify! For example, don’t peel potatoes, and use cookware that can be taken to the table.
  • 一切从简!比如,不要削土豆皮,使用那些能够直接端到餐桌上的炊具。
  • Save yourself work and save energy by doubling or even tripling recipes.
  • 把菜谱上标注的分量相应增加一到两倍,这样一次多做一些,可以让自己省力也节约能源。

From Chapter Two 第二章

Tips for staying warm 保暖的注意事项

  • Redefine the way you use your space: make sure the sunniest rooms are the ones you live in during the winter.
  • 重新定义你空间的使用方法:确保自己冬天住在阳光最好的房间里。
  • If building, install large south-facing windows and smaller ones in north-facing rooms.
  • 如果是盖房子,朝南边要安装大窗户,朝北房间则安装较小的窗户。
  • Leave curtains open throughout the daylight hours and close them promptly when it gets dark.
  • 白天把窗帘打开,天一黑就把窗帘关上。
  • Remember that dark colors absorb sunlight (and heat), while light colors reflect it, and decorate accordingly.
  • 请记住,深色会吸收阳光(和热量),而浅色会反射阳光,根据这个选择适当的装饰。
  • Take advantage of the thermal inertia of building materials. A brick floor will absorb heat from the sun during the day and give it off through the evening.
  • 利用建筑材料的热惯性。砖地板会在白天吸收太阳的热量,并在晚上散发出来。
  • Exercise first thing in the morning to warm yourself up.
  • 早起锻炼,让你自己暖和起来。
  • Wear 100 percent wool—it’s always warmer.
  • 穿100%全羊毛的衣服——羊毛总是暖和一些。
  • Dress in lots of layers.
  • 穿多几层衣服。
  • Wrap up in a soft blanket when you read at home in the evening.
  • 晚上在家阅读时,用柔软的毯子把自己裹起来保暖

Tips for staying cool 保持凉爽的各种方法

  • Dress for the heat in loose, light clothing, and avoid synthetic fabrics.
  • 天热的时候穿宽松轻便的衣服,避免穿合成织物做的衣服。
  • Use a hand fan.
  • 可以用手摇扇子乘凉。
  • Spray yourself with spring water, sprinkle water on your head, wet your clothes, or go swimming.
  • 可向面部喷洒矿泉水,或往头上洒水,把衣服弄湿,或去游泳。
  • Open windows at night and close them during the day.
  • 晚上开窗,白天关上窗户。
  • Keep the curtains closed to direct sunlight, and shade windows by growing vines outside. (Try growing azure morning glories up strings.)
  • 保持窗帘关闭以防止阳光直射,并通过在室外种植藤蔓来遮蔽窗户。 (可以尝试种蔚蓝的牵牛花,让它们一串串地爬上来)
  • Make the air move, with cross ventilation creating by opening window or with an electric fan.
  • 保持空气流通,通过开窗或者打开电扇让气流交汇。
  • Instead of air-conditioning, install a large fan in the attic. Run it in the evening to pull cool air through the house.
  • 与其安装空调,也可以考虑在房梁上安装一个大电风扇。在晚上打开电扇,把冷空气循环进室内。
  • If you have air-conditioning, ask about its energy-efficiency rating and ways to micro-seal the ducts. Use it only in extreme conditions, not to refrigerate the house.
  • 如果你有冷空调,弄清楚它的节能评分及如何密封管道。仅在特别热的天气使用,而不是把整个屋子都冻起来。 

 Tips for cleaning 居家清洁的注意事项

  • First, don’t just throw out your old toxic cleaners and don’t pour them down the drain. Use them up or give them away to someone who will use them.
  • 首先,不要只是把旧的有毒清洁剂扔掉,也不要将未用完的倒入下水道。 尽量把它们用完或者将送给有需要的人。
  • Choose patterned carpets and fabrics that won’t show every spot and put small decorative objects into a glass-fronted cupboard.
  • 选用有条纹的地毯和织物,这样即使弄脏了,有些小污点也不太看得出。并将小装饰物品放入有玻璃门的橱柜中。
  • Installing mats outside and inside to reduce the dirt that gets into your house and make carpets last longer, too—it’s the abrasiveness of dirt, rather than traffic, which does most of the damage.
  • 在室外和室内都铺上垫子,以减少污垢进入屋内,这样可使地毯的使用寿命延长——造成地毯损坏,大部分都是污垢磨蚀,而不是人走来走去的磨损。
  • Make a household rule that shoes come off at the door, as they do in Asia and elsewhere in the world.
  • 制定一个规矩,让大家在门口就把鞋子脱掉,象在亚洲和世界其它地方一样。
  • Try water, the first and best cleaner. Rather than grinding away at the cake batter that has dried onto your cooker, simply wet it. After ten minutes, wipe it up.
  • 洗涤可以先用水,这是最好的清洁剂。 与其刮去已经在炊具上干燥的蛋糕,不如把它放在水里泡10分钟,然后就非常容易擦干净。
  • Read warning labels and store and use products carefully. Even natural cleaners can be skin irritants and should be kept out of children’s reach.
  • 认真阅读产品标签,小心储存和使用各种清洁产品。 即使是天然清洁剂也可能会刺激皮肤,一定放在儿童接触不到的地方。
  • Buy concentrated products in large containers. Pour liquids into smaller bottles at home.
  • 购买大容器装的浓缩产品,然后在家里装到小瓶