A better book about being Eco friendly

From the back cover:

“Paper or plastic? Bus or car? Old house or new? Cloth diapers or disposables? Some choices have a huge impact on the environment; others are of negligible importance. To those of us who care about our quality of life and what is happening to the earth, this is a vastly important issue. In these pages, the Union of Concerned Scientists help inform consumers about everyday decisions that significantly affect the environment. For example, a few major decisions such as the choice of a house or vehicle have such a disproportionately large affect on the environment that minor environmental infractions shrink by comparison. This book identifies the 4 Most Significant Consumer Related Environmental Problems, 7 Most Damaging Categories, 11 Priority Actions, and 7 Rules for Responsible Consumption”. Learn what you can do to have a truly significant impact on our world”

Unlike other books which overwhelm the reader into inaction with just “50 simple things to do” this book gives the reader a list of the top 11 most effective actions.

The scientists who compiled this short list explain their choices with facts and figures, including reasons why the reader should not worry about other behavioral changes often recommended but that in reality are of little environmental value.

From page 85:

The most effective environmentally friendly actions consumers can do:

Transportation:
1. Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive.
2. Think twice before purchasing another car.
3. Choose a fuel efficient, low polluting car.
4. Set concrete goals for reducing your travel.
5. Whenever practical, walk, bicycle, or take public transportation

Food:
6. Eat less meat.
7. Buy certified organic produce.

Household Operations:
8. Choose your home carefully.
9. Reduce the environmental costs of heating and hot water.
10. Install efficient lighting and appliances.
11. Choose an electricity supplier offering renewable energy.

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 stars since it is likely out of date having been published in 1999.

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5 thoughts on “A better book about being Eco friendly”

  1. sweet…

    speaking of better eco choices, i should probably borrow that from the library instead of buying a copy ;o) i’m starting to feel a little bad about liking to have books when i can easily go to the library and get them for free 😛

  2. I think it is very good.

    The language is kept clear and friendly to all types of readers. At the same time the facts, numbers, and reasoning are not hidden from the reader. Accomplishing both in the same text is hard to do. The scientists also put an appendix in back of the book explaining in detail how they did their research and how they came to their conclusions.

    The scientists also describe what their critics think, what their critics reasoning is and why they don’t agree with their critics. It is done in a sober and mature way instead of being dismissive.

    The scientists also take a very mature tone in the book. They encourage people to do what they can afford to do and to do what is practical to their lifestyle. They do this instead of taking a “should” or an “I am holier/greener than thou and if you don’t follow my advice then you just a lump making excuses” attitude I’ve seen in other types of readings.

    I think this mature attitude is smart as the other attitude just drives people away. It also encourages people to become educated even if they can’t apply all of the changes right now so they can educate others who can apply some of the changes right now and it encourages people to apply more of the tips in the future if their situation changes.

    The authors are very good at conveying a “do what you can now and file the rest away for later if things turn out differently” attitude.

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