Saturday, October 10, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Real World Sustainability, Simple Steps to a Better Life - By Andy Macdonald

By Steve Thornton

The purpose of the book is to provide you with strategies to improve your surroundings, protect your health, ways to save money and strategies to positively make a difference for the health and well being of our planet. The author begins with the simple question of: What are the cost and benefits to me and the environment of this action? The intent is to have the reader focus on how simple and effective changes can help oneself while ensuring the health of our plant.

Your war on waste is the third chapter. The author presents the three "R's": reduce, re-use and re-cycle used items. These are the most important rules to follow when making an effort to reduce your carbon footprint on our planet. There are strategies to implement for home, work and in your personal space in the community. The author looks at books, magazines, toys, paper products and clothing and provides websites for additional information on where and how to recycle.

In chapter four the author assists you to develop a process to audit your home to ensure it is free of fiberglass, asbestos, and other hazardous materials. There is information on how these materials can effect your health as well as our planet.

The next section is dedicated to lighting; the good, the bad and the ugly. There is important information regarding switching from traditional incandescent light globes to alternative light sources. The author lists government recommendations and possible deadlines for the switch. There is a website listed which provides additional information on the efficiency, explanation and advantages of switching to Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL's). Along with the advantages, the author also lists some of the drawbacks to CFL's.

The next chapter focuses on appliances. The author provides pointers on how to shop for and purchase the most cost effective and safe appliances. A must to read before buying any major appliance. There is information on how to determine energy ratings, switching off appliances, which ones, when not in use and suggestions on low-cost options. There is a lot of valuable information which will assist in cutting your gas and electricity bills provided in this chapter. The author includes additional information on how to cut costs related to using washing machines, dryers, computers, and water heaters.

There is a full chapter on cleaning products such as the effectiveness of baking soda, white vinegar, citrus oils as well as cleaners to avoid. The next chapter takes an in-depth look at cosmetics and personal care products. The author points out the importance of how the cosmetics and personal care items are packaged; what ingredients are in the products and the negative effects; how to determine if the products contain animal products and where they are tested on animals; lists possible long term effects of the products and discusses the basic claims to "natural" or "organic".

The author follows this chapter with a focus on your garden. This section discusses and provides suggestions on how to start your own garden, the benefits to you and your family. A website is listed for the reader to find additional information to encourage and motivate you to begin a garden. The author recommends you start with what makes you feel comfortable and expand the garden as you acquire more confidence and information.

Chapter ten focuses on transportation strategies to cut costs, increase efficiency and how fuel consumption is impacting the planet. The author lists the eight steps to minimize fuel consumption which no automobile owner should be without. There is information on how to help your car's fuel consumption when going up hill; where to take your oil for recycling; alternative fuel sources; and other helpful hints.

The next chapter looks at the "water wars". The author points out the importance of water for the human body ; how drinking other liquids negatively impact the human body; suggestions on how to cut down on water consumption and still meet the body's needs; strategies to use water more wisely; and the hidden costs of bottled water. The author discusses how to install a system to re-use grey water from your laundry, shower, bath and kitchen in your garden.

Chapter twelve focuses on sustainable choices you can implement at work. There are suggestions on how to cut down the use of paper through telecommuting; the advantages to telecommuting; and some of the disadvantages.

There is a chapter dedicated to the issues of choices and challenges to power sources. Here the author provides information on various sources such as wind, solar, nuclear energy; and several websites for the reader to review for more information.

The author has also written a chapter on what can't be recycled, why and what to do with these items.

Another chapter lists useful and interesting links for the reader to review, such as:

Green-e Climate; Natural pest control for lawns; Building Green; Bureau of International Recycling; Governmental website listing publications.

For More Information visit:

Steve Thornton offers a insight into the information product market, researching a number of niche topics and resourcing products in those areas. Please take time to visit the estore at:

Article Source:,-Simple-Steps-to-a-Better-Life---By-Andy-Macdonald&id=2886739

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