Shaun Leonard of the Wild Trout Trust finds The Ecology of Everyday Things by Mark Everard ‘great fun and informative’, in a review for the Institute of Fisheries Management quarterly magazine. This is the first Cultured Llama book to be reviewed in such a publication, and this is due to Mark’s ‘growing library of fishy books on dace, roach, Britain’s game fish, Britain’s freshwater fish, our little fishes and coarse fish habitats.’
There are some similarities in that Mark’s fish books carry conservation messages at their heart and in Everyday Things, he emphasizes that “Central to this book is an appreciation of how nature is integral to the everyday objects in our lives” and he manages to sneak in a chapter on special things about fishes, but the journey that this latest offering takes us on is very different and hugely enjoyable.
Chapter 3, My trendy tee-shirts, (there’s a joke in itself for anyone that knows Mark) demonstrates the point. The chapter starts with Mark rolling out of bed and donning a tee shirt, then he’s off about the history of cotton, its significance in a global economic and political context (including Gandhi’s use of the cotton supply chain for his own political movement), the environmental impact of cotton growing including its intensive water needs and what those needs have done disastrously in places like the Aral Sea.
Mark’s books are invariably light hearted and resonate with his personality; Everyday Things is no different. Take chapter 9: Unappealing creatures, in which Mark addresses those burning questions like “what’s the point of slugs?” and “what’s the point of wasps?”. But, the book also includes some really, really important messages: “…it is nature that supports our wellbeing throughout evolution, now and into the future”.