So many green living books

Sarah Susanka\'s \"Not So Big Solutions for Your Home\"I love books. However, after moving at least once a year for the last, oh, twelve years, I am trying to keep my personal book collection to a minimum. I appease my book cravings with frequent trips to the local library (although that “Friends of the Library Book Store” in the basement with used books for $1 is a major temptation.) I also have a major cheap streak that keeps me away from most new book stores but I did manage to spy a few interesting titles while wandering through shops in D.C. I have only flipped through them, so I can’t make any major endorsements.

The Lazy Environmentalist is an awesome title for a book. The book itself appears to be a brief rundown on how to shop greenly with links to other resources, which seems kinda cool but kinda strange, especially since it’s a paper book so you have to manually type in all the links at your computer. Come on, it says it’s a book for LAZY people.

Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home was an easy read about how to keep scary chemicals out of your home. Of course, I didn’t realize until I read the Amazon blurb that it’s by the guys who invented the Method line of cleaning products. Somehow that makes me a little uncomfortable but at the same time, they have surely done a lot of research on the subject, right? And they have suggestions that go way beyond their product line, many of which seem totally achievable. (I’m less sure about ripping up carpet everywhere, installing hardwood floors, and investing in all natural throw rugs. Sounds expensive and/or back-breaking.)

Rubbish: Reuse Your Refuse was a cute little book about some craft projects involving trash although I feel like a lot of the time those kinds of projects encourage me to go out and buy additional materials like glue guns and spools of fancy wire plus pliers for bending it. But I like the concept and enjoyed flipping through them.

Not so Big Solutions for your Home by architect Sarah Susanka was very inspiring to flip through. I haven’t actually read The Not so Big House yet, partly because I thought it would focus a lot on building from scratch, which I don’t think I ever will. This book talks about how to do fairly minor remodels inside your home to improve the available space – projects like creating an entry space for sorting mail, building a window seat, or adding a screen to divide off an area of a room. The section that interested me the most talked about how she believes every adult in the household ought to have at least a small space in the house that is their own where they don’t have to compromise their taste. I’m not sure what that would look like in our house but I like the idea of having a little space of my own, even if it’s very tiny.

Happy reading.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Linnea said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

    I got a copy of ‘The Not So Big Life’ at the Environmental Home Center. I’ll see if Mom can pass it on to you (after I send it to her, of course. I still haven’t had time to read it yet…)

  2. 2

    Jessica said,

    May 30, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

    I’m all for ripping up carpet. I don’t want my son learning to crawl on that chemical soup! Plus, he seems to have TERRIBLE allergies, so I’d like to get rid of anything in our house that might be harboring allergens and dust mites. Carpet is a big trap for those. I think its totally worth the back breaking labor. The cost is a problem for me, of course, but hopefully I’ll have enough saved up to do it by the end of the year. If not, there’s always next years tax returns.
    That last book sounds very interesting. I’m going to have to check it out.

  3. 3

    Maggie said,

    May 31, 2008 @ 8:51 am

    I totally understand not wanting carpet but it seems both back breaking and expensive to rip it all out and put in hardwood floors (or other “green” hard surfacing). I also feel that carpet is not too terrible if it is a little old and has off-gassed most of its nasty chemicals already. But you’re right about it harboring allergens and dust mites. One of the last places I lived we had hardwood floors and an assortment of throw rugs. The baby tended to do a little better on the rugs since she was experimenting with walking and they cushioned her fall a little bit. However, the rugs got pretty dusty pretty fast and it was a big project to haul them outside and beat out the dust. I guess I feel like there’s no perfect solution. Ah, well. Just part of life, I suppose.

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