Author: Terra Wellington
Paperback: 322 pages
Acquired: won in the March 2009 LibraryThing ER batch
Because most parents have limited time and budgets, an understandable reaction is, “I have too much on my plate already. How can I possibly add more to my to-do list?” Have no fear. All the how-to’s in this book are about raising your family green in a practical way– so that it becomes part of your lifestyle. Trust me: It is doable.
…This book is all about creating lifestyle changes. Some of these changes don’t add more to your plate, they just change how you do things. Other changes ask you to care more, and donate what time and resources you have available. This is how you create meaningful change in your home, your community, and beyond – one person making a difference in a real way.
–The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green by Terra Wellington, pages xi-xii
Terra Wellington has been around the green circuit for a few years now, guesting on The Montel Williams Show and other TV shows, as well as being a syndicated collumnist, ClubMom contributor, and has her own blog, MomsandthePlanet.com. And I grant you she knows quite a lot about green living. However, I found this particular book not my thing.
To be honest, I can’t fathom why the LibraryThing algorithm picked it for me, other than I am a mother who read and loved The World Without Us. Quite frankly, I’m a very naughty polluter. I’m bad at recycling, often throwing my cereal boxes, newspapers and aluminum cans in the garbage with everything else. I do try to keep the plastic bags, though, because they make excellent trash bags for the smaller cans in the bedrooms and bathroom. I have the CFL squiggly-looking light bulbs because some dude on the morning show I watch said they lasted 5 years, and I’m lazy and hate climbing ladders to change light bulbs, so I ran out and got a bunch. After changing almost every bulb over now, I can tell you this: The whole 5 years thing is a lie. More like one year, maybe a year and a half. BUT they do save on the electric bill, and they last 3 times as long as the cheap bulbs I was buying, so the cost is offset, I think.
Honestly, I do think about what I buy before I buy it and what impact it might have on the environment. I’ve taught my kids that styrofoam is evil, and never breaks down. I never buy the six packs because I’d hate to kill some bird or fish or dolphin because I forgot to tear the plastic rings. I don’t leave the fridge door open, oven on, water running, and I keep my thermostat at around 70 degrees. Frankly, I’m pretty much doing as much as I am willing to do.
Most of what Wellington offers in the book is either impractical (for me), expensive (I’m not running out and buying new appliances, hiring an energy guy to go over my house for leaks!), or not possible since I’m a rentor. A lot of what she suggests I already do. There were a couple things though that actually irritated me:
If it’s possible, have your pet stay outdoors to reduce pet dander.
Or better yet, give your pet to someone who will love it, dander and all. HONESTLY! It infuriates me when I see some dog tied up outside, year round, never see a person talk to it, pet it, and often see it’s bowls empty, and I wonder WHY on God’s green earth do these people even think they need an animal? How ’bout we reverse that. Let the pet stay inside, and have the owner stay outside to reduce his dandruff. BTW, it’s about 16 degrees here right now, and I don’t let my cats out on the front porch right now, even.
Another one that made my eyes roll was the “reduce your showers (if you must take them) to 10-minutes”. Maybe I could just shower ever three days, then I can have a nice long shower. How ’bout if I just skip them altogether? That’ll save even MORE water! Also in this book is things for pool heaters and stuff, but how many 10-minute showers worth of water are in all these private pools? Why not get rid of those, everyone swim at a community pool and enjoy more community?
Do you know that if everyone parked their cars, took public transportation instead or EVEN BETTER, walked everywhere (OMG, I know… scary!) the carbon gases would be greatly reduced, and maybe so would the rising obesity rates. AND, you would have much more time to stop and smell the roses, so maybe the heart disease rates would drop, too?
Okay, so what did I like about this book? Wellington is trying. She’s offering solutions. She believes in what she’s doing and writing, and it shows. There’s great cheat sheets and worksheets for readers to fill out. Most of the sections are short and readable. I think the book would work best as a reference book on someone’s shelf who actually is into that stuff.
I give The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green by Terra Wellington 3 out of 5 stars.
Here’s a quick and funny video (Mom and Maggie approved) about recycling. I enjoyed this vid a lot more than the book, and actually feel inspired to get a recycling tub after watching it.
Filed under: ARC Challenge, Book Reviews, New Author Challenge 2010 Tagged: | conservation, environment, environmentalism, gardening, green, green living, household, how-to, non-fiction, parenting, recycling