Download Green Living for Dummies (ISBN - 0470227427) PDF

TitleGreen Living for Dummies (ISBN - 0470227427)
TagsFor Dummies
File Size5.4 MB
Total Pages386
Table of Contents
                            Green Living for Dummies
	About the Authors
	Authors’ Acknowledgments
	Contents at a Glance
	Table of Contents
		About This Book
		Conventions Used in This Book
		What You’re Not to Read
		Foolish Assumptions
		How This Book Is Organized
		Icons Used in This Book
		Where to Go from Here
	Part I: Understanding the Planet’s Challenges and Finding Solutions
		Chapter 1: Being Greener for the Good of People and the Planet
			Understanding the Impact of Your Choices
			Recognizing the Rewards of a Sustainable Lifestyle
			Changing What You Can as You Can
			Turning Green Choices into Habits around Your Home
			Making Your Greenbacks Even Greener
			Venturing Out into the World
			Building a Green Society
			Your First Step toward Contributing: Evaluating Your Shade of Green
		Chapter 2: Understanding the Environment’s Challenges
			Investigating Human Impact: Two Concerns, One Combined Effect
			Seeing How the Earth Reacts to Trauma: Climate Change
			How Urbanization and Neglect of Nature Directly Affect You
			Looking Forward: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
		Chapter 3: The World’s Source of Hope: Renewable Energy Sources
			A Primer on Sizing Up Fuel Sources
			Harnessing the Energy of Flowing Water
			Capturing and Diverting Sunbeams
			Going with the Wind
			Digging Deep for Geothermal Energy
			Creating Energy with Biomass
			Looking at the Future: Hydrogen as a Harbor of Renewable Energy
	Part II: Living Greenly at Home
		Chapter 4: Green Building and Remodeling
			Setting Up Residence in a Green Location
			Familiarizing Yourself with LEED Standards for Building Design
			Identifying and Avoiding Home Health Hazards
			Designing — or Redesigning — Your Home for Energy Efficiency
			Conserving Water by Design
			Choosing Green Materials
			Financing Green Home Construction or Improvements
		Chapter 5: Making Your Home Healthy and Efficient
			The Most Effective Change You Can Make: Green Heating and Cooling
			Making Appliances More Efficient and Eco-Friendly
			Conserving Water Manually
			Opting for Natural Products Rather than the Chemical-Laden Sort
			Going Green in Storage Spaces
			Small Household Habits that Make a Big Difference
		Chapter 6: Minimizing Your Trash and Decluttering Your Life
			Cutting Back Consumption and Aiming for Zero Waste
			Lengthening the Life of Your Possessions
			Turning Your Garbage into Someone Else’s Gold
			Disposing of Electronic Goods
		Chapter 7: Getting Green in the Yard
			Balancing the Garden Ecosystem: The Concept
			Designing the Layout of Your Outdoor Living Space
			Filling in the Framework with Life and Color
			Maintaining Your Outdoor Habitat
		Chapter 8: Growing Your Own Food
			Planning Your Food Garden: Easy Crops for Everyone
			Food Gardening Basics for Containers and Garden Plots
			Putting the “Green” in Green Gardening: Incorporating Organic Principles
			Getting Involved with Community Gardens
			Helping Your Harvest Last
		Chapter 9: Raising Green Kids
			Greening Your Baby
			Instilling Green Values at Home
			Partnering with Your Child’s School
	Part III: Spending and Investing Your Green (Money)
		Chapter 10: Making Great Green Diet Decisions
			The Most Popular Question: Is Vegetarianism Essential for Green Living?
			Choosing Your Food Source Wisely
			Explaining Organic
			Applying Green Ideals When Shopping the Aisles: Reading Labels
		Chapter 11: Wearing It Well
			What It Means to Dress in Green
			Acquiring Your Clothing from All the Green Places
			Living in a Material World
			Reusing and Recycling, Fashionwise
		Chapter 11: Ethical Investments, Donations, and Banking Solutions
			Choosing a Green Home for Your Cash
			Greening Your Investment Portfolio
			Giving Ethically
	Part IV: Thinking Greenly on the Road
		Chapter 13: Choosing and Using Your Transportation Wisely
			Sharing the Driving — And the Car!
			The Ins and Outs of Public Transportation
			Manual Transport: These Legs Were Made for Walking ( And Pedaling)
			Variations on Manual Transport: Bikes with a Boost
			When You Need to Drive: Green-Enhancing Actions
		Chapter 14: Expanding the Green Vehicle Evolution
			Alternative Fuel Sources for Transportation
			A Different Means of Supplying Energy: Hybrid Electric Engines
		Chapter 15: Becoming a Green Traveler
			Reconciling the Economic Benefits and Environmental Costs of Tourism
			Assessing What Green Travel Really Means
			Embracing Travel that Makes a Difference
			Let the Decision Making Begin! What to Do Before You Start Planning
			Preparing for Your Trip
			When in Rome (or Zambia, or Costa Rica, and So On) . . .
	Part V: Creating a Green Society
		Chapter 16: Implementing Ideas for a Green Working Environment
			Realizing the Importance and Gains of Corporate Greening
			Making a Difference without Souring Your Reputation
			Encouraging Green Business Travel to Cut Costs and Reduce Impact
			Reducing Office Waste
			Turning Down Water and Electricity Usage
			Buying Green Equipment and Supplies
			Being Green by Being Ethical: Giving Back to the Community
		Chapter 17: Getting Involved with Your Community and Beyond
			Establishing a Trade or Bartering System
			Protecting the Environment and Cleaning Up America
			Restoring the Past: Working on Historic Buildings and Sites
			Regenerating Communities
			Encouraging the Next Generation to Lead the Way
	Part VI: The Part of Tens
		Chapter 18: Ten Easy Actions that Make an Immediate Impact
			Recycle Regularly
			Reduce Your Vehicle Use
			Become Frugal with Your Energy Use
			Maximize the Energy Efficiency of Your Lighting
			Sign Up with a Green Energy Supplier or Plan
			Turn Off the Tap
			Buy Less; Reuse More
			Get Everyone in the Household Involved
			Stay Informed
			Plan for Bigger Steps and a Greener Lifestyle
		Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Darken Your Shade of Green
			Find a New Home for Pre-Loved Items
			Buy Local Produce the Easy Way
			Eat with Your Children
			Buy Fairtrade Goods
			Green Your Morning Coffee
			Limber Up with Green Exercise
			Assist in Community Development
			Rent to Green Tenants
			Celebrate Life’s Milestones Greenly
			Plan for a Green Funeral
		Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Repair and Restore Rather than Trash
			Turning Broken Plates into Tabletops
			Refinishing Wood Furniture
			Repairing Wooden Chair Rungs
			Recovering Dining Chair Sets
			Renewing Upholstered Furniture
			Patching Carpets and Vinyl Flooring
			Turning an Old Door into a Desktop
			Making Gift Wrap Out of Fabric
			Sewing an Heirloom Quilt from Your Children’s Clothes
			Making a Rag Rug from Fabric Scraps
	Appendix: Finding Green Products, Services, and Information
		Animal Welfare
		Money Matters
		Energy and Water Conservation
		Nature Conservation
		Transportation and Travel
		Waste Reduction and Recycling
Document Text Contents
Page 1

by Yvonne Jeffery, Liz Barclay,
and Michael Grosvenor

Green Living


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Page 193

can go out for a quiet cup of coffee, then go for it. Maintaining your sanity, after
all, is all-important.

Instilling Green Values at Home
It has been our experience that children understand green issues — some-
times even better than adults do. Children’s curiosity about the world gives
them a natural empathy for the state of the environment, for the plight of the
animals within it, and even for the situations faced by children in developing
countries. When children feel that there’s something they can do to help or
to make a difference, they usually go to it with enthusiasm.

The most effective way to teach your children to live a green lifestyle — with
care and consideration for the environment, animals, and people with whom
they share the world — is to live that lifestyle yourself and become a life-size
example. When kids see you picking up trash from the park even though you
weren’t the one who dropped it, they see value in keeping public places
clean. When they see you volunteering your time for a worthy cause, they see
that giving back to society is worthwhile and important.

From walking them to school to finding ways to reduce your family’s trash,
every choice that you make helps your children to make green choices,
too. Involving them in the decision-making — in an age-appropriate way, of
course — also helps them to learn how to continue making even bigger green
decisions as they get older. After all, if they grow up green, a sustainable
lifestyle will come naturally to them, allowing them to pass that along to their
friends, colleagues, and eventually their own children. That creates a very
positive, long-lasting ripple effect.

Starting kids young with green
behaviors and activities
Even young children can gain an appreciation for nature and what it takes to
protect it. Head outside with them whenever you can and introduce them to
the wonder that’s the world, from grass to caterpillars to daisies. Help them
to understand that the world is theirs to enjoy and protect; their desire to
safeguard it will come naturally.

When you do something at home to make your life greener, explain the
change and your reasons to your children, but don’t force changes on them.
Lead by example, and they’ll likely adopt your plans far more quickly than if
you were to force them into something.

Use these suggestions to introduce your children to green living:

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� Choose an active lifestyle. Walk, bike, and play with your children

� Opt for public transportation. Use the car only when necessary; other-
wise, demonstrate a commitment to public transportation by taking
trains and buses with your children. (Chapter 13 looks into transport.)

� Ask for their help. Younger children in particular may be proud and
happy to contribute to grown-up activities. Have them carry a small
bucket of vegetable scraps from under the sink to the compost bin, for
example, and have them help you dig out the resulting soil to put on
garden beds. They can even help you sort your recycling if you handle
the potentially sharp edges on cans and glass, leaving them with safer
items. (Turn to Chapter 8 for composting information and Chapter 6 for
recycling coverage.)

Older children may want to get involved with green activities such as
cleaning up their neighborhood and organizing the household recycling
because they’ve learned about environmental issues at school. If they’re
not enthusiastic, however, you may need to convince them by making it
a family-time activity that you do together or by making their allowance
partially conditional on their help with such projects around the house.

� Introduce them to growers. Take kids with you to places such as
farmers’ markets and farms where you pick items yourself so that they
understand that food doesn’t just come from supermarket shelves.

� Consider introducing them to wildlife. Petting farms for younger kids
may help them to understand that there’s a whole other world beyond
their community and prevent farm animals from becoming something
that they see only in books or on television. Although zoos are a con-
tentious issue within the green community — many people believe that
wild animals shouldn’t be kept in any kind of enclosures — they offer a
valuable educational and conservation lesson (many zoos are involved
in breeding programs to help support the population of threatened or
endangered species, for example). If you feel that going to a zoo will help
your children understand the wider global environment, look for a zoo
that’s actively involved in conservation, is accredited through the
American Zoo and Aquarium Association (
Aquarium), and provides its animals with as natural an environment as
possible along with plenty of mental stimulation.

� Create a family garden, and get the kids involved. Gardens are places
where the whole family can practice being green. Here are some specific
gardening suggestions:

• Put each person in charge of some green aspect of your outside
space. Children will probably love the compost and the worm farm
(see Chapter 8).

• Provide everyone with an area in which to grow his or her own veg-
etables or flowers. People of all ages can get very competitive with
each other when it comes to who can grow plants most successfully!

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growing your own. See
food, growing your own

pick-your-own, 200
school vegetable plot, 185,

in season, 213–214

vegetarian diet, 196–197

alternative fuel sources,

car-sharing, 245
carpooling, 180–181, 184,

245, 296–297
disposing of, 130–131
donating, 122, 130–131
hybrid-electric, 262–264,

maximizing fuel efficiency,

254–256, 262–264, 285,

purchasing, 258
reducing use, 17, 243–244,

replacing, 255
short journeys, 179, 324
tires, 117, 130, 254, 324
U.S. statistics, 244

ventilation, 63, 67, 78, 84, 88
vermicomposting (worm

farm), 120, 154, 163–164,

vinegar, 99–100, 144
vintage clothing, 115, 122,

219–220. See also

viruses, 35, 208
volatile organic compounds

(VOCs), 62, 79, 97, 171
Voluntary Initiative for

Sustainability in Tourism
(Web site), 277

volunteering, 272–273, 305,
307, 310–316

• W •
Wainwright Bank & Trust

(Web site), 233

benefits, 249
to school, 179–180

in urban areas, 56
on vacation, 285
walking bus, 180

Ward, Karen (author)
Canning and Preserving For

Dummies, 167
washing machine, 88–89, 325.

See also laundry
waste. See also composting;

pollution; recycling
construction waste, 76
disposable diapers, 172
electronics, 127–130, 291
hidden, 109
incinerators, 27, 123
increased by

urbanization, 36
landfills, 26–27, 123, 172,

municipal solid waste, 112
nuclear waste, 24, 26, 45–46
office waste, 291, 297–299
plastic bags, 115
pollution generated, 26–27
reducing, 14, 109
U.S. statistics, 27, 112
vehicles, 130–131
yard waste, 119
zero-waste initiatives, 110,

WasteWise Program (EPA)

(Web site), 313–314
water. See also flooding;

hydropower (water);
water conservation

boiling, 93
contamination (pollution),

40, 123, 205
cotton manufacturing’s use,

diaper washing, quantity

needed, 173
drinking, 95, 201
energy to produce/treat, 14
greywater, 14, 74–75
heating. See solar energy;

water heater
rain water. See rainfall
shortages, 31–33
supply, 23, 35–37

transportation of, 201
U.S. water use, 23

water conservation
bathroom, 95–96, 326–327
garden and yard, 74–75,

134, 142–143
home systems, 74–75
importance, 35–36
involving children, 177, 319
kitchen, 90, 94–95, 326
laundry, 325
rainwater, 74–75, 142–143,

whole-home tips, 94
at work, 300

water features, 136, 139
water heater, 68–69, 87–88,

90, 325
water meter, 94
water pipes, 88, 94
weather, 31–33, 39. See also

weather-stripping, 84
Weatherization Assistance

Program (Web site), 80
Web sites. See Internet
weeds, 138, 140, 144–145
WFP (World Food

Programme) (Web site),

wheat, 209
Whitman, Ann (author)

Organic Gardening For
Dummies, 152

Wilderness Volunteers (Web
site), 273

wildfires, 31–33
wildflowers, 139

attracting to garden,
136–140, 145

dryer vent access, 88
human impact on, 37
introducing children to, 176
respecting, 272

wind power, 42, 46, 48–50,
72–73, 328

windows, 67–68, 84–86, 301
wine-cork crafts (Web site),



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Page 386

Winslow Green Growth Fund
(Web site), 237

Wirefly (Web site), 129
Wise Giving Alliance (BBB

Web site), 239

building with, 76–77
burning, 141
flooring, 171
furniture, 97, 337–338
heating with, 69–70
sustainable sources, 76–77,

97, 140
toys, 177

woodpile, 139
wool, 97, 171, 221–222
work. See also business

benefits of corporate
greening, 288–289,

buying equipment and
supplies, 301–302

encouraging green
practices, 292–293

finding green jobs, 305

social responsibility,

telecommuting, 17, 58,

transportation to, 58, 245,
247–248, 293–297, 324

waste reduction, 297–299
workers, 15, 202–203,

216–218, 232. See also
Fairtrade goods

World Food Programme
(WFP) (Web site), 202

World Tourism Organization,
U.N. (Web site), 265–266

World Volunteers (Web site),

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
(Web site), 37, 41–43,
266, 277

Worldwatch Institute, 37
worm farm, 120, 154,

163–164, 176–177

• X •
xeriscaping, 135–136

• Y •
yard. See garden

• Z •
Zero Energy homes, 64
zero-waste initiatives, 110,

Zipcar (Web site), 245
zoo, 176

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