Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget

When I speak to people about my personal local diet experiment, I'm often asked "What have you found most challenging?" It's an easy question for me. The answer? By far, the greatest challenge in eating locally is identifying local food resources. But I also believe that this challenge is understood by anyone attempting to follow a "greener," more eco-friendly lifestyle. We WANT to leave a lighter footprint. We just don't know HOW or WHERE to get help.

And as I've worked hard to make eating locally less of a challenge for anyone following in my footsteps, so has the Lazy Environmentalist himself - Josh Dorfman - made living a greener life both more accessible and affordable.

In his newest book, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget, Josh Dorfman provides readers an amazing array of wallet-friendly resources for our eco-mindful lives. Whether you're a dedicated non-consumer or looking for greener alternatives to every day purchases, Dofman provides a little something for everyone.

To read it cover to cover, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget is a light read, but more than anything, it's meant to serve as reference material - offering detailed information on programs around the country where individuals, governments, and companies and thinking outside-the-box providing green solutions that range from the basics like Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, to water conservation, transportation alternatives, and transforming our homes and offices. Each chapter concludes with a list of the programs or websites discussed and how to find more about each one mentioned.

The bottom line is, there are people out there (just like you and me) who are making a difference in our world, people who have initiated programs, developed products, and formed companies in the effort to make it easier for you and I to live a greener lifestyle. The challenge is connecting with those people so that we can either take part or be inspired to transform our own home towns. Well, Dofman has done all the work for us so that we can be, well... lazy environmentalists.
Recommended: as a reference guide to a greener lifestyle
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
So here's the best part... I'll be mailing a copy of The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget to one lucky winner. All you need to do is add a comment to today's post (by Friday, June 12) telling me about the easiest change you ever made in your "green" journey. I'll select a winner at random and make the announcement on Saturday, June 13. Good luck!

P.S. Entries for the drawing must have a U.S. mailing address...

27 comments:

JAM said...

I don't need to try to win it, but I just requested it from the library - thanks!

Chrissy said...

I'd love to have this book.

Easiest change - tossing the shampoo and conditioner for baking soda and vinegar. Had them on hand already and I love the way my hair feels now.

Best of all, no more chemicals on my head or down my drain. Don't even need any styling products anymore!!

Michelle @ Leaving Excess said...

Sounds like a good book! I would have to say switching to the Diva Cup was my easiest change. It is simple and no more messy than that traditional methods (ick) and I LOVE how much waste it eliminates (and that I don't have to panic about whether or not I have enough tampons). I wish I could say it makes that time of the month enjoyable, but I guess that is a tall order :>)

Audrey said...

THIS is just what I've been looking for, I think. I've picked up book after book but found that much of the info really doesn't pertain to me or to where I live. So glad I came across this post!

Easiest change -- canvas totes for everything! We have a stash in the car, and just grab one (or two, or four) on the way into the store. Also, we've found that using our own bags helps us to be more mindful of how much we purchase. We're going in with limited space...

tami said...

Sounds like a great read, thanks for the review. Since moving from a small city to a big city 6 months ago, we've found it harder to be "green". Composting is a challenge, riding bikes is dangerous, and city transportation is expensive. The easiest thing for us to follow-thru with has been growing our own spinach and basil in planters on our small patio.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe this book isn't at my public library (I just checked), it looks good.

The easiest thing has been carrying a reusable bag, and a stainless steel water bottle with me at all times.

(I'm in england, so I don't mind if you don't include me in the draw due to the postage costs.)

Thank you for your review.

~kt

Heather @ SGF said...

JAM - Great! Let me know how you like it!

Chrissy - Cool! That's something I've been too chicken to try so far. Maybe I'll just have to give it a shot. Thanks!

Michelle - I can't imagine anything actually making "that time of the month" more pleasurable, but it does seem like an easy change!

Audrey - That's one of my favorite changes - bringing your own bag. And your right, you immediately become more mindful about how much you carry. At one point, I was walking all my groceries home which does the same thing - you only buy what you can carry :) Now I bike everything home so I have a little more I can buy, but I still have to be super careful. Thanks for sharing!

Tami - Container garden! Very cool and super easy! Sorry to hear that you're experiencing such a challenge in your new home. It's frustrating, but just think, it's an opportunity for you to make a difference in your community by demonstrating how to be mindful. Good luck!

KT - Hmm. I probably should have said something about international postage - yeah, the winner will need to be in the US. Sorry, I'll update. Good for you with the bags and bottles! It's amazing what people will pay for bottled water - it's expensive, it's not any better for you, and there's so much waste... Keep up the good work!

Kelly said...

composting! All I have to do is dump food scraps in a container in the counter and take it out when it gets full.

Recon Cornelius said...

The easiest change at my workplace was switching out our gas powered golf cart for library deliveries to a pedal tricycle. It's really easy because I don't do the deliveries.

Recon Cornelius said...

Follow up to my earlier post, If I win the book it will be donated to the library I work at.

Thanks,

Jonathan

m.t.ness said...

This sounds like a great resource for those (like me) who have always been a little bummed by the fact that a lot of books in this vein focus on stuff you can BUY and don't give nearly as much attention to things you can just... do.

The easiest green change for me? Going for bulk at our local co-op grocery. We reuse containers for everything from rice, oats, and other dry bulk to soaps to water. I love thinking of how much packaging and waste we're eliminating by doing this. They've got locally sourced stuff, too. Win-win.

islandveggie said...

The easiest change I made was composting. Reduces my garbage by 3/4+!

matty said...

The easiest change for me? Feeding my chickens all the leavings from my cooking! Eggs are even BETTER with fresh goodies in the chickens' bellies!

LizKnits said...

Easiest ... I think I'd have to go with reusable bags too. High up on the list would be growing some of our own veggies, getting a hybrid, reducing my use of disposable menstral products, buying things with less packaging... so many easy little things.

blondeoverboard said...

by far the easiest change was ditching paper products. i had a wealth of cloth napkins and table cloths left over from my parents formal dining and entertaining days. we now use them at the dinner table (which, oddly enough has become a gathering place for the neighborhood kids. in the last 6 months we've had at least 2 additional people at the table with us). giving up paper towels wasn't tricky but passing on the toilet paper for cloth wipes raised some eyebrows. not only did we stop spending money on paper products but i was able to give some of our more worn towels a second life thus keeping them out of the landfill.

Heather @ SGF said...

Kelly - GREAT! I'm guessing you have a wonderful garden for all that compost too.

Recon Cornelius - Actually, biking around making deliveries sounds like fun. Where do I sign up? :)

m.t.ness - I was a little worried at first that it would just promote consumption, but there are lots of ideas for free resources too. My kinda resources! Oh, and local bulk items? What a dream! We have some bulk in our stores, but it's not local :(

island veggie - Another plus is that you can let the trash sit without things getting stinky, since nothing is decomposing in the trash bin anymore. We went from putting our can out once a week to once every 6-8 weeks when we started composting. Good for you!

matty - You got it! There's nothing like a good, yard egg!

LizKnits - You're right. There are TONS of little things we can do and they all add up - very quickly.

blondeoverboard - VERY cool! We've given up all the paper produce except the TP. You're a far braver woman than I, but you make it sound so easy!

Donna said...

I'd love a copy of this book. I thought I'd be so original saying that the easiest change was bringing my own bags, but everybody else beat me to it! I started bringing my own bags when my son started crawling and I didn't want a bunch of plastic shopping bags laying around. The bonus has been -- we don't have a bunch of plastic shopping bags laying around. :)

Darren (Green Change) said...

By far my easiest change was to turn down the thermostat on my electric off-peak hot water system to the minimum setting.

We still never ran out of hot water, the water was still hot enough for everything (washing up, laundry, showers, etc), and it reduced our water heating electricity use from 15 kWh/day to 8 kWh/day, permanently!

I'm in Australia - could I still be in the draw if I pay the postage?

Bunny Chick said...

My easiest change was my first - getting reusable bags to take to the stores.

And I do agree with Michelle, the change to a diva cup and cloth pads was also easy! And as sick as it might sound ... I almost look forward to that time of the month because I get to use such pretty pads! I'm crazy, I know, but it's true!

Notwasted said...

Cloth diapers. I have NO idea why anyone would wrap their babies in chemicals and plastic for the sake of "convenience"...

Dina said...

The easiest thing was to start using reusable bags, and growing some of our own food.

Heather @ SGF said...

Donna - Very cool! It's funny how somehow we end up with them anyway. I try to avoid them too and I end up taking them to the market all the time for one reason or the other (some one gives us something in a bag, I rescue one off the side of the road...) We should just ban the gosh darn things :)

Darren - Wow! That's a huge decrease -awesome! Sure, if you win we'll work something out!

Bunny Chick - You guys make it sound so easy with that diva cup. I made a change (though different) in that arena - my doc put me on straight birth control pills for 12 months and I break just once a year for "that time of the month." It's awesome! But I suppose I could get a cup for that one time.

Notwasted - So how does that work (I don't have kids obviously)? I'm guessing you have to scrape the diapers first...

Dina - Yum! What are you growing?

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

The easiest change I have made is switching from disposable items to reusable items: lunch containers, water bottles, napkins, coffee mug, shopping bags. They have all been very easy switches. Thanks for the giveaway. I have been wanting to read this book.

Heather @ SGF said...

Over Coffee - Very cool! I noticed that it takes a little to remember at first, and then it become second nature. Good for you!

Heather @ SGF said...

Dina - Just a reminder to send me your contact info as the winner of the book giveaway.

Email: simple.green.frugal@gmail.com

If I don't hear back by Friday, June 26, I'll randomly select another name, so stay tuned!

Heather @ SGF said...

NEW WINNER - since I haven't heard from our previous winner, I randomly selected a new name...

m.t.ness - Please send me an email with your contact information and I'll get the book right out to you!

Congratulations!

Reusable Sandwich Bags said...

On our home we practice of using reusable sandwich bags in packing our snacks for office and school. I also encourage you to do the same.