A few years ago, a gal named Crissy Trask noticed that everywhere she went, people she met were excited and interested in the green movement. Everyone was talking about how important it is to live responsibly and be mindful of the earth. Then she realized that all these people that seemed so gung-ho about an environmentally friendly life weren’t actually doing anything about it.
After a bit of research and asking around, Crissy realized that the people in her life were excited and interested in the prospects of a cleaner, more sustainable world, but didn’t really know what they could do to help or even where to go to find out what they could do. That’s when she decided to write It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living.
Who should read this book: If you’re relatively new to the concept of sustainability, need some help navigating the lingo, or looking for some help figuring out what types of pursuits might fit your lifestyle, this book can offer some guidance as well as references that you can continually look back to.
Who shouldn’t read this book: If you’re looking for a matter-of-fact guide to tell you what to do, then this book isn’t for you. Also, if you’re looking for playful storytelling, this book won’t be a good fit – it’s very middle-of-the-road in its presentation.
It’s Easy Being Green is just what it says it is, a handbook. In fact, I prefer to think of it more as a reference manual as it is filled with definitions of commonly heard (but often misunderstood) terms from around the greenoshphere (I just made that word up so no, it’s not included in the handbook) as well as tons of external resources to get you going in the direction you want once you’ve read it and decided what that direction might be.
The real value in this book, in my opinion, is the 59 page list of tips (organized by topic) that allow you to define a roadmap of things you will do to improve your eco-footprint. At 59 pages, it’s a bit cumbersome, but it’s really comprehensive. Here’s how you use it (This process is also described in the book):
- Read through all the tips, one at a time, making a check in the 3rd box next to it if it sounds interesting to you.
- Go through the list again, looking only at the tips you identified as interesting and place a check mark in the 2nd box if you feel it’s something you’d actually like to pursue.
- One by one, go through each tip and begin to accomplish them, giving yourself a time frame to complete each one. To avoid overload, don’t focus on more than one item at a time. Give each your full attention.
- Using the 1st box next to each tip, give yourself a rating of 1-5 to identify how you feel you performed implementing it.
- Start over at step 1.
This section of the book has the ability to turn into a living document as you fill it out and pursue the tips you identified. Once you’re done, you might find it useful to go back and look over all the ones you chose, implemented, and scored yourself on. You’ll probably find that you performed a lot better in certain areas than others. It might help you to prioritize your green pursuits going forward.
I should also mention that Crissy understands that her audience likes to buy stuff as she includes 2 chapters in her book titled Buying Green and Green Shopping Online. Personally, I prefer the Don’t Buy Stuff method to getting through life, but that’s not exactly realistic and it’s important to know how to make the best choices when you need to purchase something, so I’m glad she covered it thoroughly.
Crissy also writes a chapter titled Getting Involved where she provides numerous tips and resources for easy ways to connect with organizations that promote sustainability in areas you may be interested in.
Overall, I can’t say that It’s Easy Being Green was a great fit for me. I feel like I’m slightly beyond the level of material that was presented, but I do appreciate all the external references provided. I’ve written down a number of them that I will eventually check out to see if they could fit into my pursuits. But like I said earlier, if you’re just starting out or need help finding direction, you might find a lot of guidance from this handbook – especially from the 59 page worksheet.
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