Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Green book review week - part 1: The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference

We start our green book review week one day late due to technical issues, so today we'll have two reviews of green books. And we start with a book that is targeted at those who want to make a big difference but in small steps. From what we see and hear on the news about the G8 and from other examples all over the globe, it looks like the concept of this book is relevant more than ever.

Our book today is:

The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference

: Jodi Helmer

Jodi Helmer
is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about eco-friendly topics. Her work has appeared in Plenty, Yoga Journal, Women’s Health, Woman’s Day, American Fitness, Women’s Health and Fitness, Oxygen, Hemispheres, Parents, US Airways Magazine, Modern Bride, Parenting, Christian Science Monitor, USA Weekend, Better Nutrition and the Portland Tribune. Helmer is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and moderated the panel, Environmental Journalism: Writing Green at the 2008 ASJA conference in New York.

Publisher: Alpha Books/ Penguin Group (USA)

Published on:
December 2008

What this book is about? (from the the publisher's website)
Most of us want to do the right thing for the environment, but making the commitment to change our fast-paced, convenience-oriented lifestyles can be more than a little daunting. What’s the answer? Take that giant commitment and cut it up into 365 little commitments that get met one day at a time. The Green Year does just that. More than a calendar, it offers simple, practical, affordable, and engaging activities that make going green a blessing rather than a burden.

In addition to these easy green suggestions, readers will find in The Green Year:
•The “why” behind each activity—what makes it good for the environment and the reader?
•A quick “how-to” for any activity that requires it
•Room for readers to write in their own creative Alternatives
•Helpful illustrations

What we think about it?
I am a great believer in the concept of small steps that make a difference. Some might see taking small steps as doing too little for solving big problems, and that's where 'The Green Year' can help.

The book provides a road map to a real change in people's lifestyle in small steps that eventually accumulate to a significant change. Of course not each and every tip of the 365 tips in the book can work for everyone and that's why like the fact the author left space at the bottom of each tip for adding 'An alternative to this idea that works better for me' - this is the kind of flexibility that encourages people to engage in.

The main strength of the book is its ability to refute two common myths: going green is complicated and expensive. The tips Helmer provides on her book are usually pretty easy and won't take more than a couple of minutes, like "Change the setting on your printer" (March 30), "Opt for a fountain drink instead of a bottle or can of soda" (September 18), or "Switch from a lighter to matches" (October 24). Many of the tips won't cost you anything, like "Take your own mug to the coffee shop" (April 24). Some of them can actually save you money such as "Check your car tires for wear and tear" (May 8).

The book is organized as calendar and many tips are related to their time of the year like tips on greening your garden in April. One thing I was missing was a table of contents that would make the search inside the book much more easier.

Bottom Line:
It's a valuable guide and a great gift, especially for those who want to go green but don't know really where to start, or those who want to it one step at a time.


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

How you can win? please add a comment below with a tip of your own - one small step to go green that you successfully adopted. Submissions are accepted until Tuesday, July 21, 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 printing


Annie said...

Well- we have been trying to go green by adopting cloth diapers last year! They are making a come back!!!
Since our decision to do the cloth diapers, our whole look on waste has change naturally. We use cloth napkins at dinner time and we use dish towels more than anyone I know!
The little things you do can make a huge diffrence!

Irene said...

I shut off the lights at any chance we get. We use cloth napkins. We are moving to cloth diapering.

Norrin said...

My little deal is that I save the reusable filler that I get inside of packages that are shipped to my house. I can then give it to the nearby UPS store instead of just tossing it out.

kiwimeg said...

We keep a couple of chickens in the back yard. They are low maintenance, keep the garden pests down and are surprisingly personable pets - and they eat most of our food scraps and provide us with eggs.

Anonymous said...

I save plastic bags that I normally would throw away, and recycle them at a local grocery store!

tina reynolds said...

we only use resusable shopping bags and we each have are own reusable drinking bottle no bottled drinks from the store thanks eaglesforjack@gmail.com

Allison said...

we have started a compost. our boys actually love to help too!