The Green Year

I'm always looking for ways to "green" up our life, and I'm proud of the fact that we have already made several easy changes to help save the planet: we recycle, do laundry on cold, eat less meat, use cloth grocery bags, buy energy-saving lightbulbs, pack the kids' lunches in recyclable containers, use natural, eco-friendly household products, and so on.

But I know our carbon footprint is still closer to BigFoot's than Cinderella's. I cannot, cannot, will not give up my hot showers, I still drive a Toyota Sienna minivan (which gets an embarrassing 15 miles per gallon), we don't compost, we can't afford to buy organic sheets, and so on. So I need more easy, eco-friendly ideas!

A couple of weeks ago I posted about some of author Jodi Helmer's tips to make your Halloween a greener holiday. I've been reading her book, The Green Year, which has given me a whole new set of ideas for changes we can make.

The Basics
The Green Year (December 2008, $14.95, ISBN: 9781592578290, Alpha Books), provides 365 simple and inexpensive eco-friendly ideas for each day of the year. Organized by date, the green living tips suggest small changes and environmentally friendly ideas that make a big green impact. The Green Year is more than a calendar. It offers practical, affordable and engaging activities that help make going green a blessing rather than a burden.

About the Author
Jodi Helmer is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about eco-friendly topics. Her work has appeared in Plenty, Yoga Journal, Women's Health, Natural Solutions, Backpacker, Woman's Day, Family Circle and American Way. She is the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Careers and a professional speaker who offers workshops on green issues. Helmer also maintains a website, She lives in Charlotte, NC.

The Bongga
I'm happy to say that this book is giving me a whole new set of ideas on how to make more easy, eco-friendly changes to our lifestyle! For example, I had never thought of filling up empty milk or soda jugs with water and freezing them in order to fill up an empty freezer (a full freezer works more efficiently that an empty one). Jodi's tips are simple and doable, and she never lets the perfect be the enemy of the good. If you don't think a particular tip won't work for you, she has no words of scorn. Each page has space for you to write your own notes down if you have an alternative to her tip that works better for you. Finally, I think it was really nice (and consistent) to note that the book itself is made from recycled paper; it shows that Jodi's commitment to going green goes beyond mere words.

The Bottom Line
If you're green behind the ears when it comes to eco-friendly living, take the first step towards saving the earth by reading The Green Year! And if you've already started down that green road, The Green Year will keep you going with lots of fresh, new ideas.

I received a sample in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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