Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Green Collar Holiday Gift Guide for Book Lovers - Part 2

The holiday season has just begun and if you already start thinking about gifts, we hope you think about books. A good book is always a great gift! So how about a green-themed book that is both interesting/fun/valuable (or all at once) and affordable?

To help you find the best gr
een books to give as gifts this holiday season, Eco-Libris blog is continuing the tradition we started last year and presenting a new holiday guide. This year we have a very special guide with recommendations from people who are involved in the green economy, or as we call it "The Green Collar Holiday Gift Guide for Book Lovers".

The guide includes 50 recommendations of great green-themed books that will be a good fit as holiday gifts. As you will see the guide is not only about the books, but also about the people who recommend it. We tried to personalize the guide as much as possible so we will learn not only about green books but also about the people who carry the green economy on their shoulders.

Therefore with each recommendation you will find a personal angle that presents the recommender, his workplace and/or why they chose that specific book to recommend on.

Today we present part 2 (out of five) of the guide. As you can see today and on the upcoming parts, we have some who are part of the green economy and also wrote great books which the recommend on. We hope you will enjoy the variety of offers and find here great ideas for green gifts. Enjoy!

11. "Greening Your Office: From Cupboard to Corporation, An A-Z Guide" by Amanda Cuthbert and Jon Clift

Recommended by: John Schafer, Facility Supply Sales Manager at Corporate Express, a Staples Company

What the book is about? (from the publisher - Chelsea Green) An A-to-Z guide for offices of all sizes, from energy use and better supply purchases to recycling and reusing materials, plus summaries of a range of renewable energy options, commuting techniques, and more. These tips help your workplace save money while reducing environmental impacts, and can boost employee morale in the process. Your choices for coffee, computer monitors, furniture, invoices, lighting, paper, stamps, and hundreds of other items can add up to a better world.

Why would this book make a great gift? It is an inexpensive, easy to read 70 page book with lots of simple ideas. I found it on Amazon for around $8.00..

Getting personal: I arrived late to the Sustainable Movement having spent the last 15 years selling institutional cleaning chemicals (most of which contained carcinogens, nervous system toxins and endocrine disrupters).

My last two years ha
ve been spent at Corporate Express (now owned by Staples). In that time we have launched a line of Green Commercial Cleaning Products, introduced many green products to the marketplace and have made strides to become more sustainable as a company (which includes testing bio diesel delivery trucks, using only FSC Certified paper, requiring any new buildings to be LEED certified - to name but a few items we are doing).

12. "Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman" by Yvon Chouinard

Recommended by: Mark Albion, an independent higher education professional and co-founder of Net Impact

What the book is about? (from Patagonia's website) Part memoir, part manifesto - legendary climber, businessman and environmentalist Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, Inc. describes his life and his start in business as an itinerant climber selling pitons from the back of his car. Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman offers a look at the guiding principles that Chouinard used to build Patagonia into a global business - a business that has an environmental mission and is a fun place to work.

Why would this book make a great gift? I did give Yvon's book to my oldest daughter's entire graduating class two years ago. Wonderfully written, great story of bringing your passion into the center of your life, and wonderful insights easily digested on the environment.

Getting Personal: Wish I could suggest my new MBA career book, More Than Money, but it's another kind of green!

13. "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by William McDonough & Michael Braungart

Recommended by: Jim Vitkin, Writer and research consultant

What the book is about? (from Cradle to Cradle's website) William McDonough's book, written with his colleague, the German chemist Michael Braungart, is a manifesto calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. Through historical sketches on the roots of the industrial revolution; commentary on science, nature and society; descriptions of key design principles; and compelling examples of innovative products and business strategies already reshaping the marketplace, McDonough and Braungart make the case that an industrial system that "takes, makes and wastes" can become a creator of goods and services that generate ecological, social and economic value.

Why would this book make a great gift? Not only does it describe this critical sustainable design philosophy but the book itself is an example of cradle-to-cradle design. It is printed on a special plastic resin "paper" which was designed by Melcher Media, and is an example of what McDonough calls a "technical nutrient"; that is, a product that can be broken down and recycled or repurposed infinitely. So in the case of "Cradle to Cradle," the medium is also the message.

Getting Personal: Jim Witkin is a writer, research consultant and MBA student at the Presidio School of Management focused on social enterprise and ICT for development. He blogs regularly at Triple Pundit and also volunteers for, a non-profit that provides SMS technology to NGO's.

* This book got many recommendations and here are just few more praises it received:

"For me, it is the book, "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. It is an easy-to-read book without too many jargons or technical terms - yet, it is persuasive and it provides great ideas for remaking and redesigning our human environment." (Joeleen Hsu-Ling Low, Environmental Project Management)

"Besides the important subject matter (a new approach to product design) and its often poetic "manifesto-like" prose, it's literally a "green book" in that it's printed on synthetic paper made from plastic resins and inorganic filler. You can read it in the bath and drop it in the water if you're so inclined, though it is oddly heavy for a small book." (Luke Filose, Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and NGO engagement manager)

14. "Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World" by Diane MacEachern

Recommended by:
Diane MacEachern, the author, president of Big Green Purse and publisher of the award-winning

What the book is about? (from Eco-Libris review) Diane MacEachern argues in Big Green Purse that the best way to fight the industries that pollute the planet, thereby changing the marketplace forever, is to mobilize the most powerful consumer force in the world-women.

This book is a call-to-action for women to use their power as buyers (women spend 85 percent of every dollar in the marketplace) to make a difference. MacEachern's message is simple but revolutionary: if women harness the "power of their purse" and intentionally shift their spending money to commodities that have the greatest environmental benefit, they can create a cleaner, greener world.

In the book, McEachern targets 25 commodities where women's dollars can have the greatest impact, including food, clothing, cars, computers, coffee, cleansers, furniture and flooring.

Why would this book make a great gift? Big Green Purse has been called "the big green bible" for the hundreds of useful green living and shopping tips it features. It's a present that will put "green" in your pocketbook, too. Following just a handful of the book's suggestions will save readers at least $4,000 every year in energy, water and resource costs. Give it for the holidays, then watch your friends and family enjoy it - and benefit from it - all year long.

Getting Personal: Big Green Purse: Use Your Spending Power to Create a Cleaner, Greener World, is Diane's fourth book. An award-winning entrepreneur, Diane has partnered with Home Depot, Whole Foods and other companies to clear up consumer confusion and make it easier to choose eco-friendly products and services.

Diane's books have reached hundreds of thousands of people with their "you can change the world" messages. She has been widely featured on such televisi
on programs as CNN Headline News, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, and the ABC Network Television Earth Day Special. A frequent guest on Martha Stewart's "Whole Living" radio show, Diane will be featured in Glamour magazine's Earth Day 2009 special anniversary issue.

15. "Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees" by Dr. Nalini Nadkarni

Recommended by: Jade Leone Blackwater, Writer, Artist, Naturalist

What the book is about? Seeking to renew your sense of wonder this holiday season? Let Nalini Nadkarni inspire you with her latest book, Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees. Explore the many subtle and extraordinary ways that people rely on trees for the products they yield, the imagery they invoke, and the ecosystems they support.

Read additional reviews of Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees listed on our FaceBook group page: (

Why would this book make a great gift? Nalini Nadkarni’s own sense of adventure, humor, and discovery invite readers of all ages and interests to find their own meaningful connections with trees and forests.

Getting Personal: Jade Leone Blackwater is a freelance writer who supported Dr. Nalini Nadkarni in the creation of Between Earth and Sky. In addition to her freelance writing at Brainripples ( Jade Blackwater authors Arboreality (, a blog about trees, forests, conservation, and ecology.

16. Naturally Clean Green: Twelve Safe Ingridients for the Healthy Home by Candace Richmond

Recommended b
y: Michael Richmond, Director at the Green Clean Institute

What the book is about? No, it is not just another book, but a training and certification course for homemakers. This easy-to-read, informative course will teach you everything you need to know to create a Green Healthy Home, and give you the confidence that you are doing everything possible to protect the health of your family.

The book is by Candace Richmond, a former registered nurse and mother of three. The challenge faced by most homemakers is the confusion on the organic and natural products that can be used to clean nearly anything. The unsuspected surprise is the immense cost savings of using some of th
e readily available ingredient. This book highlights twelve items that can clean nearly anything and leave the house a safe place for people to live.

Why would this book make a great gift? the ability to receive a certificate as a Green Homemaker from the Green Clean Institute by sending in the test at the end of the book. Why not get credit for the training and your role as a Green Homemaker?

Getting Personal: Green Clean Institute offers Green Clean training and certification to janitorial and cleaning services. We also certify the buildings as GCI Green Buildings through our trademark program.

17. "Be an Everyday Humanitarian: Powerful and Sustainable Life Practices for Changing the World from Home" By Corrina Steward

Recommended by: Corrina Steward, the author, sustainable development and environmental consultant and coach

What the book is about? Be an Everyday Humanitarian is an e-book that guides you to live sustainably with balance in your life and self-purpose. To Be an Everyday Humanitarian is a decision to honor the small things in life and do them with integrity. Underneath the clutter of your life is YOU, the Everyday Humanitarian, who has a mission, purpose and the personal power to live it! It’s more than an ebook, it’s a manual for your life with 15 hands-on exercises that will transform the way you live AND make our world more sustainable. With a new message about sustainability, Be an Everyday Humanitarian adds another dimension to our understanding of a sustainable world.

Why would this book make a great gift? This is a hands-on tool kit that is great for anyone going through transitions, new graduates, soul-searchers and anyone looking to have more joy and harmony in their lives. For the environmentally-minded individual it is a great gift to remind them that taking care of ourselves is a gift to them and the environment. When we have peace of mind, we are more readily able to contribute positively to environmental change.

Getting Personal: (from Be an Everyday Humanitarian's website) My name is Corrina Steward and I know exactly how you feel. Life can seem overwhelming sometimes. You’re tired and stressed out all the time and wondering (hoping) that there’s a deeper meaning in life. Not to mention you are juggling a family, working and keeping up with everything that life throws at you. Your life feels like it’s on auto-pilot, and you’re not the driver.

You want life to be simple, more fulfilling and joyful.I want to tell you that everything is going to be fine. How can I say this? Because I have been there and in the process of giving up I stumbled, well tripped over (a few times), what I am about to share with you in Be An Everyday Humanitarian.

18. "Green Zebra: Local Savings for Sustainable Living"

Recommended by:Brian Quock, Director of Sales & Marketing at Owens Electric & Solar, Inc.

What the book is about?
(from the Green Zebra's website) A coupon book, a directory, an educational resource, the brand new 2009 Green Zebra guide, with editions for San Francisco and the Peninsula/Silicon Valley show you how to have fun living green in the Bay Area, while saving thousands of dollars too.

Why would this book make a great gift? The Green Zebra is savings guide and coupon book loaded with Organic Restaurants, Eco-friendly products, tips and services, Activities and Get-aways. The cost is just $25 and would be a great gift to that person you love and care for.

Getting Personal: I work in the solar industry and we provide energy solutions for both residential and commercial applications in Northern California. We like working with organizations like Sustainable San Mateo County, SFSolar, SAMCEDA (Earn $10 for SAMCEDA by entering the code: SAM123 when purchasing your 2009 guide), and others who are working together for a better tomorrow.

19. "Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century" by Alex Steffen (Author), Al Gore (Foreword), Bruce Sterling (Introduction)

Recommended by: Jeff Kart, Environmental Journalist, Blogger, Environmental Affairs, Green Guru

What the book is about? (from last year's guide) Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century is a groundbreaking compendium of the most innovative solutions, ideas and inventions emerging today for building a sustainable, livable, prosperous future.

From consumer consciousness to a new vision for industry; non-toxic homes to refugee shelters; microfinance to effective philanthropy; socially responsible investing
to starting a green business; citizen media to human rights; ecological economics to climate change, this is the most comprehensive, cutting-edge overview to date of what's possible in the near future - if we decide to make it so. The Worldchanging book contains over 600 pages, divided into 7 sections which include a vast range of topics.

Why would this book make a great gift? It's a dictionary, bible, encyclopedia of everything green. It's broken into sections, with items and ideas and information about ways people around the world are going green. There's also a companion web site and blog.

Getting Persona
l: I'm the environmental reporter for The Bay City Times, a mid-sized daily located in Bay City, Mich., near Saginaw Bay, in the state's largest watershed. I received Worldchanging as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and have worn out the spine. I refer to the book often for ideas for stories and everyday life. It's a great, forward-thinking resource.

20. "The Rough Guide to Shopping with a Conscience: The Essential Handbook for Responsible Consumers" by Richie Unterberger and Duncan Clark

Recommended by: Erik Nelson,
VP, Activism at Better World Club

What the book is about?
(from the publisher's website - Rough Guides) "Sweatshops, fair trade, climate change, ethical investment, organic can sometimes feel like a moral minefield. Which companies and products should we support or avoid? And which claims of social responsibility can we trust? The Rough Guide to Shopping with a Conscience cuts through the greenwash to answer these and many other questions.
  • The Issues: Do boycotts work? Is buying local better? How can we reduce our impact on global warming?
  • The Products: From coffee to cars, fish to furniture, pensions to plane tickets — the problems and the ethical options.
  • The Companies: Where to shop and what to look for in food, clothes, banks, travel agencies and much more.

Packed full of information and with tips on how to do your own research, The Rough Guide to Shopping with a Conscience is the essential handbook for responsible consumers. (The paper used in this book was produced with 100% recycled fiber.)"

Why would this book make a great gift? As consumers, one of the best ways to affect change is by voting with our dollars, and supporting products and services that do right by the environment. And, hey, Better World Club is mentioned in it, too!

Getting personal: Better World Club is the nation's only eco-friendly auto club, providing 24/7 roadside assistance, insurance, and travel services. BWC contributes 1% of revenues to environmental cleanup and advocacy, lobbies on behalf of environmental issues, and offers the nation's only bicycle roadside assistance. Learn more at

If you choose to give your friends or family this book as a present on the holidays, you are more than welcome to balance it out with Eco-Libris, add our sticker to the book and make it the perfect green gift for the holidays.

The Green Collar Holiday Gift Guide for Book Lovers - Part 1

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Plant a tree for every book you read!