I’ve got to admit that I am usually skeptical about books that show you how to go green. Sometimes the suggestions are so bizarre that you can just about guarantee that no one will be taking them seriously. So you can imagine that I was pleasantly surprised that the book, Ready, Set Green: Eight Weeks to Modern Eco-Living by Graham Hill and Meaghan O’Neill of Treehugger provided many usable suggestions for the greener lifestyle.
The “Save the Planet in 30 Minutes or Less” lists of suggestions, followed by “So You Want to Do More” lists, are extremely user-friendly which can help gain buy in from readers. Symbols are also used to indicate benefits to gain from the efforts. And the benefits aren’t just green. They include saving money, saving time, and improving health, too. Brilliant and missing from many other works of the green genre.
The ecofriendly factoid and myth buster box items highlight interesting and useful information. Background data is presented in an informative and less judgmental manner than I have seen in other works. As well, the focus on how it impacts the reader helps drive the points home.
There were really only two issues I had with the book.
First, there was the obligatory ride your bike suggestion. As I am writing this review, it is now 8 degrees Fahrenheit with a predicted high of 14 tomorrow here in Chicago. This one (and walking) usually falls on deaf ears, except in warmer seasons, in climates like this. Additionally, urban sprawl with high speed highways and no bike lanes often makes it a dangerous endeavor, especially in early morning or evening. These types of efforts will require entire community and governmental support to become workable.
Second, many of the products suggested are obscure brands that you will not find at your local Target or grocery store. So if I have to order them and incur shipping costs, both financial and environmental, have we made progress? The limited availability of more earth friendly and socially conscious product choices in highly frequented retail outlets is one of the major challenges to the green consumer movement.
Because of its incredibly user-friendly format and clearly presented and useful information, Ready, Set Green is a must-read for those who want to learn some real world ways to go green.