Friday, January 2, 2009

book review: The Green Book

I figured if being a little more environmentally conscious means being a "hippie" or being a "tree hugger" then sign us up. It's no secret that it's easy to be wasteful, and reckless with our environment, and I'm guilty in so many ways! We're trying our best little by little to make a difference in our house, in our little world... hopefully what little bit we do somehow makes a dent in the big picture. When I read 'The" Green Book' I found some more simple ways to do our part. I thought I'd post 5 interesting bits of the book:

  1. Dishwasher - By running full loads and not pre-rinsing you can save up to 20 gallons of water per dish load, or 7,300 gallons over a year. That's as much water as the avg. person drinks in a lifetime!
  2. Refrigerator - Don't linger in the fridge! It's the single biggest energy-consuming kitchen appliance, and opening the door accounts for between $30 and $60 of a typical family electrical bill per year. The amt. of energy saved in a year by being more efficient with the fridge could be enough to light every house in the US for more then 4.5 months straight!!
  3. Dryers - Clean the lint screen (daily!) and don't overload the dryer. You'll save up to 5 percent on your power bill. If everyone did this, we'd save the energy equivalent of 350 million gallons of gasoline per year.
  4. Organic - Lower your exposure to pesticides by 90% just by choosing organic varieties of certain fruits and veggies. If just 1% of the Nations farmlands converted to organic (non chemical) agricultural systems, it would remove 26 million pounds of pesticides per year from the food we eat AND from the environment! Each time you chose organic, you encourage this type of farming!
  5. Toys - Look for toys made from materials other then plastic. Many plastic toys are made from PVC and contain toxins known as phtalates that are potentially harmful to both the environment and children's health. If every child under 12 received just 1 alternative-to-plastic birthday gift this year, not only could an estimated 25 million pounds of plastic toys be diverted from landfills, but the total energy savings could bake 31 million birthday cakes!

The book is loaded with nifty and thrifty ideas on how just taking simple steps with choices makes a huge difference in both our health and environment! We already eat organic mostly, and do alot of recycling, and buy natural soaps and cleaners, but this book opened my eyes to even more possibilities that are costy worthy!