Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming
books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're
recommending books about how to give your daily life an eco-makeover.
Living Green: The Missing Manual (by Nancy Conner, $20, O’Reilly, 2009): The author breaks her green tips into three categories — home, lifestyle, and world — as a way to ease you into making better eco-decisions. The amount of information might be a bit overwhelming for the newly green, but the specificity is helpful. Beside almost every tip given is the URL address of a website with additional information about the topic. You'll also find definitions of many green terms and lists of ingredients to avoid when you’re shopping.
Change the World for Ten Bucks (by Eugenie Harvey, $10, Chronicle Books, 2009): This visually appealing coffee-table read offers hip environmental and lifestyle advice, most of which is extremely affordable to follow. An overall guide to responsible citizenry, its short, cheeky tips such as “Smile and smile back,” “Plant something,” and “Take a bath with someone you love,” are ideal for someone whose daily routine could use some inspiration.
Green, American Style: Becoming Earth-Friendly and Reaping the Benefits(by Anna M. Clark, $15, Baker Books, 2010): In addition to outlining a capitalism-friendly green philosophy, Clark details the financial and environmental effects of small lifestyle changes like carpooling, paperless banking, and thermostat control. It’ll work well for pragmatic, business-savvy readers who need some convincing about the personal benefits of a green lifestyle.
Picture Yourself Going Green (by Erinn Morgan, $20, Course Technology, 2009): This manual offers an eight-week guide to greening each area of your life, including your home, yard, wardrobe, transportation, and travel. It provides a few changes to focus on each week and tries to keep its suggestions budget-friendly, offering a “cost meter” for each tip. The format makes it a great choice for the Type-A newbie who feels a little anxious about a green makeover.
Simple Steps: Healthy Home. Healthy Planet. (by the National Resources Defense Council, $15, Chronicle Books, 2009): It's not technically a book, but this card deck of "50 easy actions" offers a tome’s worth of ideas to help each part of your home live up to its eco-potential. While some of the tips might take a little longer than suggested (it might take more than one morning, for example, to replace all of your child's toys) the cards are a fun alternative for those who don’t have time to read an entire book about going green.