Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Green Book by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

Our energy and resources footprint on this earth is huge, according to The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, but there are many things we can do to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Use wooden baseball bats, which are safer and made from from a renewable resource. Aluminum mining and manufacturing is terribly energy wasteful and environmentally destructive.

Use a commercial car wash instead of washing your car at home to save lots of water.

Keep your microwave clean to keep it energy efficient. Use it to warm up leftovers (instead of the conventional oven) to save energy and lots of money. Cook with it when you can.

The manufacture of laptop or notebook computers uses fewer materials and less energy than desktop computers. Using these smaller computers is also more energy efficient.

Use a voicemail service instead of an answering machine to save energy and non-renewable resources.

The lists of earth-friendly ideas goes on and on. Most are actually very easy if you can just remember to do them, such as share a bigger bag of popcorn at the movies instead of buying two bags.

The authors include reasons with all of their suggestions, sometimes speculating on how great an impact each act would make if adopted by great numbers of people. For instance, if every person flying would pack ten pounds lighter, 350 million gallons of jet fuel would be saved each year. To support their numbers, the authors include fifty pages of web references in the back of the book.

With every chapter, the authors also include celebrity green advice. Will Ferrell drives an electric car, and Jennifer Aniston takes a three minute shower. Instead of tips, other celebrities, such as Robert Redford, explain why they are environmentalists.

This cute little book is inexpensive and definitely belongs in every library.

Rogers, Elizabeth and Kostigen, Thomas M. The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time. Three Rivers Press, 2007. ISBN 9780307381354


Beth said...

As a former librarian I am returning this book to the store for a full refund. Yes, there are some good suggestions here--but on page 47 the authors tell the reader NOT to go to their local public library to do their research, but, rather, the reader should do their research online. This contradicts what they state on page 38 where it is discussed how much energy is wasted using the computer to email. I would think emailing online would use much less energy than online researching. I think all libraries should pull the book off their shelves as principal since the authors don't seem to be fans of libraries.

Anonymous said...

I personally disagree that we should or should not do something based only on recommendations of environmentalist. If the public is really concerned about these issues a much more meaningful approach would be to advocate for more domestic Natural Gas production. We could use that production to convert most of our electrical generation and vehicles to burn it. We have the 3rd largest reserves of Natural gas in the world and burning it versus gasoline/coal would reduce the resulting pollution by over 50%. So stop wringing your hands and sitting in a dark cold house- call your representatives in DC and ask them to support Natural Gas !