• 02.24.11

Backyard Innovation With Backyard Skills, a D.I.Y Handbook

Building innovative solutions for environmental challenges right in your own backyard.

We hear a lot about global environmental problems like climate change, energy, food, water, and buildings – the list goes on and on, and it just seems to get longer. Problems like these are so vast that people often feel there’s nothing they can do about them, but there are plenty of steps people can take right in their own home and in their own backyard to stop talking about the problems and start solving them. That’s where Backyard Skills: A DIY Handbook comes in, an eco-friendly do it yourself book recently released by The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano.


As soon as I got the book my seven year old daughter homed in on the terrarium project on page 12. It was easy and great fun to work on together, and I like the fact that the plants inside can take care of themselves.

“Backyard Skills is about starting anywhere,” said Evan Marks, Director of the Ecology Center. “Pick up the book, flip to a page and engage. The handbook is really about getting your hands-dirty and making a difference.”

The Backyard Skills book was inspired by regular workshops featured at The Ecology Center, and exhibits like the water conservation exhibit featured there currently. With its headquarters located in a refurbished farmhouse originally built in 1878, the Ecology Center stands with an organic farm as an oasis in San Juan Capistrano. Its environmental education mission is an important one, putting the power of action into the hands of everyone. Families or anyone else looking for a weekend destination in Orange County or the Los Angeles area or looking for the next workshop to sign up for should check the website for this environmental education center (

To get a copy of Backyard Skills, you can go the website for the Ecology Center here.

You can reach Evan Marks here.

Glenn Croston is the author of 75 Green Businesses and Starting Green, helping green businesses to get started and grow at

About the author

Glenn Croston is the author of "75 Green Businesses" and "Starting Green", and the founder of Starting Up Green, helping green businesses to get started and grow.