Sometimes I wonder if my family is doing enough to go green. We try to do the obvious stuff like recycling and not letting the water run while we brush our teeth. But, I feel like there’s probably a lot more we could and should do to become a green family. That’s why I was excited to get a copy of the book Sustainability Made Simple: Small Changes for Big Impact by environmental experts Rosaly Bird and Lauren DeMates for review.
Co-authors Rosaly Bird and Lauren DeMates introduce readers to the concept of sustainability and humanity’s growing impact on the environment, and translate science-based evidence into easy-to-understand language to show how these big issues are linked to daily life and how working towards sustainability is an opportunity to do things better.
From chores around the house to how to throw a planet-friendly party, Sustainability Made Simple shares simple changes that anyone can make at home, school, work and on the road to reduce their environmental footprint.
The book is packed full of information, similar to a textbook. It’s not the type of book I would try to read front to back in one sitting. In fact, after I looked at the table of contents, I realized the chapters do not necessarily have to be read in order of appearance. So, I began to read chapters in the order they interest me.
For example, I am currently reading Chapter 5 “Household Chores.” I read Chapter 11 “At the Store” last week. As I read each chapter, I can begin to implement the green living tips and suggestions in my life. By the time I finish all 13 chapters, I will know so much more about the importance of sustainable living and practical ways to go green with my family.
Booklist calls Sustainability Made Simple “An essential guidebook for anyone who wants to make a difference.”
Buy the book! Click to purchase Sustainability Made Simple (Rowman & Littlefield)
7 Practical Tips For Growing a Green Family
Environmental experts Rosaly and Lauren share their latest tips for bringing new, sustainable habits into our daily lives. Check out the following 7 practical pointers for growing a green family this summer.
1. Bring air purifying plants into your home. Many plants act as air filters to improve the air quality in your home by absorbing the harmful gases and toxins from furniture, paints, and plastics. Peace lilies, golden pothos, and Boston ferns are only a few examples of the many plants that can help remove benzene and formaldehyde from the air in your home.
2. Look for local, seasonal foods. Eating local and seasonally means you are likely to avoid the food miles and greenhouse gas emissions associated with foods that aren’t in season and travel a long way to get to your table. In addition, seasonal foods can be less expensive and taste better. Because it is picked only when it’s naturally ripe, seasonal produce retains all of the nutrients and flavor that is lost when food is harvested prematurely. If you are feeling ambitious and have space, you can even start your own vegetable garden for the most localized produce possible.
3. Start a compost (or look for compost programs in your neighborhood). Don’t let your fruit and veggie scraps go to waste in the landfill, where they will ultimately contribute to climate change by emitting methane. Instead, start a compost in your yard or look for programs in your community that collect organic material for composting. Compost is a natural fertilizer and can be added to your garden or potted plants.
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4. Swap or donate clothes. Swapping clothes that your kids have grown out of with other parents is a great way to share and/or get “new” clothes without actually purchasing anything. If you can’t think of anyone to swap with, then donating old clothes is another great option. Swapping or donating clothes helps with spring cleaning and extends the life of each item.
5. Use non-toxic products. If you are taking on some serious spring cleaning, make sure you are using non-toxic cleaning materials because chemical-based supplies contribute to water pollution and can be harmful to your health. Websites and apps such as GoodGuide and EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning help to find safe and gentle cleaning products. Consider making your own cleaners with natural ingredients like vinegar.
6. Clean out your air filters. Air filters that have not been cleaned or replaced in a while can mean that free-flowing air is being blocked, making the system work harder to push air out. Clean filters will not only prevent unnecessary energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, but will also save you money on your electricity bill.
7. Plastic-free picnics. To minimize your negative impact on the environment during these outings, swap out plastic single-use containers and utensils for reusable non-plastic items. It can be easy to rely on single-use plastic items such as water bottles, cutlery, plates, and cups, but it creates a lot of waste that will most likely end up in a landfill (or even in the ocean)! Look for glass jars and cloth bags to carry and contain your goodies and bring silverware from home to cut down on the waste you create.
GROWING A GREEN FAMILY PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY!
Enter to win a “Growing a Green Family” Prize Pack, which includes a copy of Sustainability Made Simple and a large reusable Baggu tote bag that is perfect for trips to the grocery store, the mall or even the beach. The cherry print is just too cute and these bags last forever and are machine washable. Prize Pack ARV $50. Please use the Rafflecopter entry form below for your chances to win. This giveaway is open to USA entrants ages 18 and up; ends on August 28.