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Books, Literature

Green Books Campaign: The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget

This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 100 bloggers are reviewing 100 great books printed in an environmentally friendly way. Our goal is to encourage publishers to get greener and readers to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books. This campaign is organized by Eco-Libris, a green company working to green up the book industry by promoting the adoption of green practices, balancing out books by planting trees, and supporting green books. A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

Are you hungry for solutions that will relieve you from the guilt and challenge of living a stylish yet environmentally conscious life? Then The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget by cable TV personality Josh Dorfman (aka, The Lazy Environmentalist) by Stewart Tabori & Chang is a must-read. Realizing that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, Dorfman has written a terrific book with the overarching goal of helping us all make a positive impact on our world without having to compromise too much.

And contrary to what many people think, Dorfman explains how it can be affordable and easy to lead a greener life.  In fact, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget provides readers with solutions that don’t require much effort or financial commitment, but yield significant green payback. He covers everything from ways to reduce/reuse/recycle and conserve energy and water, to less obvious practices like greening your transport, eco-remodeling and finding non-toxic cleaning supplies. The resources include everything from denim repair to ways to borrow stuff from your neighbors to which stores have the best deals on affordable eco-furnishings, sustainable beauty products and budget-friendly organic cotton baby goods.

On of the things I love about this book is that it answers the questions so many of us have: What exactly do I have to do to go green? Where do I begin? And why should I do it?  Dorfman shows us how starting the process of greening your lifestyle can be as simple as following your interests. If you choose to green as an extension of what’s important to you, you’ll end up finding solutions that fit your existing lifestyle and are rewarding to implement. For example, if you’re into home decor, Dorfman shows how and where to find reasonably priced sustainable furnishings

Going green at home (on a budget) is easier than ever…designers of home furnishings and accessories are…transforming earth-conscious materials into irresistible gear for every room in the house.  You may not be able to give your place a complete overhaul, but every bit counts.

If fashion is your thing, the “Style Made Simple: Fashion Revision” chapter is filled with information:

…it is possible to fill your closet with affordable, stylish clothing that was made responsibly. You simply have to know where to look…to keep his wardrobe up to date, the fashion-forward, budget-conscious Lazy Environmentalist must rely on a knack for uncovering deals and a willingness to embrace new designers, business practices, and retailers.

It turns out that American Apparel, Arizona Jeans (available at J.C. Penney) and Rogan Gregory for Target are just a few of the fashion-forward folks that make reasonably priced, eco-conscious duds.

If I have any criticisms, and they are really slight, it is that at the end of the book Dorfman tries to tell us too much. For example, his chapters on creating an eco-home office and kick-starting a green career are a bit light and not really even necessary in a book filled with so much helpful, practical and valuable advice. Also, the links to the Lazyenvironmentalist.com “special pages” that promise updates to the resources listed in the book were all disappointingly broken. Finally, and this is really nit-picky and I’m sure the responsibility of the publicist, but the press release that accompanied the review copy was three pages long and printed on heavy, virgin stock (not sweating the details is a pet peeve of mine…but, then again, I could barely convince my publisher to print on recycled paper at all!)

In the end, these things are really unimportant in comparison to what a great book it is. I dog-eared dozens of pages so that I can easily find the new resources I so desperately need.  In fact, I like the book so much that if you are on my holiday gift list, be prepared to receive it as a holiday gift this year.

Josh Dorfman brings his knowledge as an expert on green lifestyles to make The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget as easy to read as it is enlightening. Filled with hundreds of easy to access resources and insightful interviews from cutting edge green businesses, this book will benefit anyone looking to save the world—or some green.

The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget was printed on Rolland Enviro 100 made with 100% post-consumer waste, processed chlorine free, certified Ecologo, certified FSC Recycled and manufacturered using BioGas energy.

Jennifer Kaplan, author of “Greening Your Small Business: How to Improve Your Bottom Line, Grow Your Brand, Satisfy Your Customers – and Save the Planet” (Prentice Hall, November 2009) and blogger for Green Options Media, is pleased to be participating in the campaign both as an author and a blogger.




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