Saturday, July 18, 2009

Green book review week - part 5: The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget

Our final book on the green book review week is a book that tries to prove what many consider as impossible - going green can be fun, easy and inexpensive.

Our book today is:

The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget: Save Money. Save Time. Save the Planet.

Josh Dorfman
Josh Dorfman is the author of The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and host of The Lazy Environmentalist television series on the Sundance Channel. Dorfman is also the founder and CEO of, a resource for consumers seeking the best green products and services, and of Vivavi, a retailer of modern, green furnishings. He lives in New York City.

Stewart, Tabori & Chang (imprint of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)

Published on:
April 2009

What this book is about? (from the the publisher's website)
In The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget, Josh Dorfman takes you inside the latest developments in green living to demonstrate how you can easily and affordably have your designer jeans and your planet too. From raising eco-conscious kids to greening your daily commute, Dorfman provides insights into the next wave of green innovation and the products and services that will lighten your planetary impact and lower your expenses.

Find bargain basement deals on stylish organic bedding and bamboo furnishings at the largest retailers in the world. Score instant rebates on everything from compact fluorescent light bulbs to energy-efficient air conditioners. And earn reward points for carpooling with friends.
In a time when many people are feeling financially restricted, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget is your guide to effortlessly saving the planet while keeping some extra cash in your pocket.

What we think about it?
One of the the most bothering scenes on Food Inc. (a very recommended film!) is when there's a family buying a dollar menu meal at Burger King for the whole family and explaining that it's the cheapest and the most convenient way for them to get dinner. After I saw it I couldn't stop thinking how "greener" options can win the dollar meals in price and convenience. And that's one of the main questions Josh Dorfman is trying to answer in his new book.

Dorfman actually doesn't refer to food, but other than food there's almost no topic he's missing in his quest to show how's going green doesn't necessarily have to be expensive or time-consuming or difficult in any way. Dorfman is challenging one of the most hard-to-break myths on green products and he's coming prepared with all the info you need to get it right.

Although you'll think you have seen dozens of similar books with similar promise, this book is different. Its main strength is based on the
familiarity of Dorfman of the green economy - he knows every green product and every green service out there. I thought I knew a thing or two, but I still was amazed to find how many new things I learned from reading the book. This is definitely one of the best resources for the best (in quality, pricing, availability and so on) green products and services you can find today.

The book is also very structured and organized - at the end of every chapter you'll find a list of all the resources, retailers, websites and information resources mentioned in the chapter with a short description and their website address.

Of course this is also the weakness of the book - all the great deals he's talking about, whether it's a showerhead that will save you water and energy in the shower (Ecoflow in $14.99) or affordable fruit-based facial scrubs, cleaners and body products of Alba ($8.95-11.95), this information can change fast. Products come and go, pricing changes, new companies arrive to the market with better offers, etc.

That's of course the problem with every printed guide and Dorfman's book is not different (although you can stay updated by following the Lazy Environmentalist website). Still, it has a lot of information that is priceless and relevant at least for a couple of years, and that's what makes it a valuable book.

Bottom Line:
I like Dorfman's style and willingness to make the transformation into a greener lifestyle "fun, easy and inexpensive". I'm not sure if the family from Food Inc. would buy this book and if it did, if it would help them with their problem (maybe this book will), but I'm sure it can provide them with plenty of ideas how going green can actually save them money and time. But it's not only them - this book is recommended to anyone who wants to know more on how to go green in a fun, easy and inexpensive way


We're giving away one copy of the book, courtesy of the publisher, and of course a tree will be planted for the copy!

How you can win? please add a comment below with your tip on how you can save money while going green. Share with us your recommendation and get a chance to win this book! Submissions are accepted until Sunday, July 26, 12PM EST. The winner will be announced the following day.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on our website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading


Bunny said...

We recently went from a two-income household to a one-income household... it was a difficult adjustment! While revamping our budget, I knew I wasn't willing to sacrifice healthy, organic food in order to save money. Now, I make everything I possibly can from scratch. Plus, I'm growing more veggies and herbs in my backyard, and frequenting the local farmer's market more often. Now we eat better than we ever have for very little money!

Irene said...

I've recently become a mom, and I'm easing my way into cloth diapering. The up-front costs are pretty high, but not as high as the overall costs of diapering for 2-3 years. Cloth diapers are great because you can reuse them for your current child, reuse them for subsequent children, and sell or give them away after you're done. So lots of money savings as well as less waste going into the landfill.

megan said...

I want to help the earth, but it seems so much cheaper not too. Hopefully, this book would help change my behaviors.

Mary A said...

One tip that my husband always go for is to buy our beer at our local brewery in returnable bottles. Thanks for the giveaway.

Megan said...

We buy a lot of our veggies from the local farmers market instead of the grocery store.

Amy said...

I have become a big fan of reusable items -- whether it's a reusable water bottle or shopping garage sales to reuse items that others no longer need.

Thanks! acm211 [at] gmail [dot] com