The Otesha Book: From Junk to Funk

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“Both fun and engaging, The Otesha Book is one of the most inspirational and useful resources for people interested in living a sustainable lifestyle.”

- Gabriela Rappell, National Director, Sierra Youth Coalition 

The Otesha Book: From Junk to Funk is a key resource for anyone interested in creating positive change – educators, parents, students, and concerned citizens alike! This creative and informative read represents the collaboration of a dozen authors and provides a behind-the-scenes look at how our daily actions change the world.

Packed with cool graphics, engaging issue backgrounders and inspiring stories, From Junk to Funk covers six main topics: water, clothing, media, food, transportation, and fair trade. Each topic is explored in depth, encouraging readers towards empowerment and action.

Getting your hands on this funky resource:

You can order individual copies or bulk orders of The Otesha Book here.

Payment Options:

We request a sliding scale of $10-$20 for copies of The Otesha Book. If you’re in love with the book already but can’t make a financial contribution, please get in touch with us – we’ll work something out!

Bulk discounts are available.



Teacher Insert:

Written in collaboration with the formal education sector, The Otesha Book Teacher Insert makes bringing important issues into the classroom a breeze. Teachers, workshop facilitators, and students themselves can easily use the Teacher Insert addition to construct lesson plans and workshops according to curriculum requirements and/or individual interests. 

The insert is divided into six topics that correspond to the six featured chapters. Within each section, educators can construct a unique and appropriate lesson plan by picking-and-choosing from the following activities:

  • Hors D’oeuvresstarters and icebreakers, including surveys, community mapping and investigative reports,
  • Entréesin-class work and discussions, including stakeholder debates and creative ‘perspective’ assignments,
  • Dessertsassignments for full term papers and extra-credit assignments, including ‘Go Further!’ reports, and global research and presentation.

The Teacher Insert can be easily added to homemade versions of The Otesha Book for an additional $10. It is also available free-of-charge for download here




Spreading the Word:

We want the Otesha message to travel even farther than we can, and we want to provide a follow-up tool with more information, more inspiration, and more fun (!) to the thousands of people who share our vision for a better future. Therefore, each book is entered and tracked in the book-crossing system ( We encourage readers to lend out their copies of the book and follow online as they travel from reader to reader, picking up better ideas and even more good karma along the journey!

Walking the Talk:
At The Otesha Project, walking the talk is key, so creating the book to be as environmentally-friendly as possible was an absolute must. But we’re always up for a good challenge!

Paperback copies of The Otesha Book are printed by Warren’s Waterless, a Toronto-based printer that uses non-toxic vegetable-based inks and a revolutionary waterless printing process. The paper is recycled (100% post-consumer waste), chlorine-free, and produced by a mill powered with bio-gas from a nearby landfill!

And here’s how we fashion the DIY version of The Otesha Book:

  1. The book covers are made from reused cereal boxes covered with scrap fabric. To bind it all together, we use vegan Elmer’s glue.
  2. Using 100% post-consumer waste paper, the text is then printed by a printer that specializes in environmentally-sound, chlorine-free waterless printing using vegetable-based inks. And get this: the mill where the paper is made is fuelled by bio-gas from a nearby landfill!
  3. Finally, the cover and text is bound together by 25% recycled aluminium binder rings, and voila – the Otesha sustainable book recipe!

Feeling enthused and crafty? Click here to see how to make these funky post-consumer-waste packages, and check out our creative photoshoot for inspiration.  If you have any other ideas about how to print a book sustainably, please send them to us!


"I find this resource extremely useful for teaching ESD (Environmental Science). It is geared specifically to a teen audience. The aesthetic is 'urban-trendy' and funky. The language it uses is at the level of high school students, and it is written as though a narrator is speaking to the student directly, so it engages students right away because it has a 'youth to youth' feeling. This resource also focuses on several relevant issues that can appeal to high school students – clothing, coffee, media, food, water and transport. Each issue is examined from the perspective of how this teen might interact with these things in one day. Therefore, it transforms what could be seen as enormous, global catastrophes into a manageable size, a tangible scope: one day. The book weaves together social, environmental, and economic issues seamlessly. In so doing, it doesn't ever set up the idea that these things are separate and maintains that you must view these factors as inextricably interconnected."

- High school teacher

"The Otesha Book is impressive and truly a model book of knowledge-based activism and changemaking. It is filled with provocative and important information, always coupled with practical ideas for individual and structural change.  My students enjoyed the engaging writing and reflected in deep conversation about the practical strategies Otesha is offering.  I highly recommend this book for educators, students, activists and anyone looking to make social and environmental change in their lives and their communities."

- Dr. Jonathan White, Director of Service-Learning, Bentley University Service Learning Center and Professor of Sociology


*Due to high demand, French soft cover books have unfortunately sold out. However, those interested in the French version of the book can order French homemade books or view the French version here!