December 28, 2012

It's Easy Being Green by Crissy Trask

I had a hard time trying to decide what to rate this book. While it had a lot of good tips and ideas, it also had a lot of outdated ideas, ideas that just plain disturbed me, and so many links to websites and really it seemed you could learn much more just by using your computer and never touching this book.

This book claims that it is a handbook for Earth-Friendly Living and it breaks itself into different parts to complete that mission. First it exposes those Green Living Myths and says what the actual truth about living green is. Like saying that green products are expensive and instead explaining why they are not expensive. Next it talks about how the average person can make a difference, regardless of how busy they are. Part Three covers Eco-Tips for living greener and includes check-boxes so you can keep track of how you are doing. These tips range from travel to cleaning to food. Buying Green is next and it tells you what to look for and some common terms when looking at labels. Green Shopping Online is a huge listing of websites dedicated to green products. And getting involved has more online listings so you can get involved with campaign writing and other initiatives. Lastly there are Resources to help the Earth, which again, is a listing of online sites.

My main problem with this book is that it is mostly online listings of websites. You could easily look up all this information without this book just by typing in what you're searching for. So in buying this book, you actually wasted a resource in that regard. Next, because websites close down, change, etc., this book is ineffective even only six years later as not all of those sites are around anymore (although some still are). The next problem I had was with some of the tips. There was actually a tip saying that you should use your microwave for cooking and reheating more than your stove because it saves energy. Ok, in theory this is true, but microwave cooking also breaks down the nutrients in your food, which could cause you to be less healthy, and use up more resources later to improve your health as a result of not eating properly. Then there was the tip on how to reuse film canisters. Let's be honest, who in the heck has seen a film canister lately?!? And while there were quite a few tips, most of them were more appropriate for a beginner, or just common sense. Although I should say that I learned a few things from this book, so it wasn't a total waste.

My main thought is that if you are going to call a book a handbook, the information should be there for you to look at, not listed in an online website for you to go look up later. It should more appropriately be called a guide. And I do like that it encourages Green Living, I just don't think that it's a lasting book or one that should be referenced now that it seems to have gotten outdated. It did have an easy to read format and was broken down into logical parts. The typing is small though and may be harder for older people or people with weak eyesight to read.

There are better Green Living books out there to read (or even websites really) and while I can appreciate what this book was trying to do, I can't recommend it for reading.

It's Easy Being Green
Copyright 2006
161 pages

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