The Ecology Center, an educational facility in Orange County, held a series of DIY workshops in 2009 and 2010 to teach people practical, environmental solutions for the home.  With the popularity of the workshops, The Ecology Center decided to compile the projects as a reference, and that reference became Backyard Skills: A D.I.Y. Handbook.  We’ve been given a review copy to read and share on this site.

The first Backyard Skills edition includes 19 total projects among five chapters: energy, shelter, waste, food, and water.  Each project includes a description of the cost, time, and tools involved to completion.

To use one project as an example, building a pallet chair costs about $15, takes two hours, and requires a crowbar, hammer, saw, two pallets, wood glue, and certain nails and screws.

Other projects mentioned in the reference include: building a solar oven, planting a shade tree, making household cleaners, creating a worm bin, brewing homemade beer, designing a rain garden, and retrofitting a greywater drain pipe.  There’s also some additional information on home energy, water, and waste audits.

In the closing of Backyard Skills, the authors invite readers to “bring the tools, strategies, and practices featured in Backyard Skills into your home and then — and here’s where you can really make a difference — share them with your community.”  That’s a plan, so good luck if you win this copy or buy one from The Ecology Center.

[+] Order a copy of Backyard Skills: A D.I.Y. Handbook.

Update: The giveaway of this book has concluded.