Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday's green books series: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Can you live in better comfort and health, support the environment and save money at the same time? well, it's not a daydream, but actually a doable challenge according to our book today on our Monday's green books series. And it all starts and actually ends at home.

Our book today is:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling

Author: John Barrows and Lisa Iannucci

John Barrows is a teacher for green techniques nationwide for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). John holds the designation of Certified Green Professional. He is President of J. Barrows Inc., providing construction services, general contracting, construction management, and consultation services for over 30 years.

Lisa Iannucci is a 20-year veteran of magazine and book publishing and a former real estate writer.

Publisher: Alpha (a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.)

Published on:
January 2009

What this book is about? (from the publisher's website)
This guide helps environmentally conscious people make real-world decisions about building or remodeling a home. Readers will find information on how to save money by going green when building or remodeling, how to find the right green integrated system design, how to choose heating and cooling equipment, and how to save money on water.

Why you should get it?
Here are two interesting facts you learn on the foreword of the book: 1)according to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings' energy use accounts for 39% of the U.S.'s carbon emissions. 2) The typical American family pays upward o $1,500 a year in energy
costs. Only these facts are a good reason to get a hold of the book, no matter if you're more about the environment or your expenses (or like many people maybe both).

Green building and remodeling sound very 'heavy' issues that many people don't want to dive into them in the first place and rather leave them to professionals. This book definitely understands these fears and tries to make these issues as accessible and simple to understand as possible.

One part I really liked was 'Deciphering Facts and Myths', where the authors refer to all the misconceptions that might stop people from thinking about green building or remodeling. You talk about myths from "there's too much to learn" or "to be green we have to replace everything in our home" all the way to "historic homes can't be greened" and green building materials don't last longer than traditional building materials."

The book is full with great tips for both indoors (energy and cooling, appliances, light, air quality, water heating and so on) and outdoors (design your yards, pools, fencing, roof gardens, etc.). It also includes much more valuable information such as green building resources list, glossary, green facts, information about the LEED rating system.

And last but not least - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Building and Remodeling is printed on recycled paper.


We're giving away our review 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 an answer the following question: what you do at home to lower your energy costs and/or use water more efficiently? Submissions are accepted until Monday, June 29, 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 Eco-Libris green books page on our website's green resources section.

More relevant links:

GREEN BEGINNINGS: The Story of How We Built Our Green & Sustainable Home

Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing

Want to learn more about green printing? listen to an interview with Mario Assadi of Greenerprinter

So what is actually green printing? what makes a printer a green one? is it only about offering recycled paper and soy ink?

As we're working to promote green printing as part of our vision of sustainable reading, we constantly explore these questions and try to figure them out.

One of the people who it's always worthwhile to listen to what he has to say about it is Mario Assadi, President and CEO of Tulip Graphics, Inc. and founder of its Greenerprinter brand, which is focusing on growing a sustainable e-commerce business model based on environmentally friendly printing practices.

Mario (see photo on left) was interviewed by Sean Daily on GreenTalk Radio and this is a great talk for anyone who wants to learn not only about the specific journey of Greenerprinter (a great printer by the way - we're happy customers.), but also about the general concept of green printing and its translation into daily operations.

And if you're wondering what he has to say about the questions we asked at the beginning of the post, here's a summary of his approach in his own words: "...But green printing is really, is not about recycled paper and soy ink. Green printing, it is about responsible manufacturing." But there's much more, so don't miss this interesting interview!

Link for the interview: h
ttp:// You can also find the transcript there.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing