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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
An important part of living green is rethinking the way you make decisions so that you waste fewer resources. BripBlap.com posed these questions in a blog post entitled "8 questions to ask before buying ‘stuff’":
Can I afford this stuff?
Do I need this stuff?
Will this stuff create or reduce clutter in my life?
Does this stuff replace some other stuff that is still functional?
Does this stuff somehow make a task or activity easier?
Corollary: Is this stuff a unitasker? Do I already have stuff that will do the same thing?
Can this stuff help someone?
Will buying this stuff hurt the environment more than it will help me?
In Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, Fred Pearce shows us the hidden worlds that sustain a Western lifestyle, and he does it by examining the sources of everything in his own life; as an ordinary citizen of the Western world, he, like all of us, is an "eco-sinner."
Out of sight, out of mind ... Into our trash cans go dead batteries, dirty diapers, bygone burritos, broken toys, tattered socks, eight-track cassettes, scratched CDs, banana peels.... But where do these things go next? In a country that consumes and then casts off more and more, what actually happens to the things we throw away? In Garbage Land, acclaimed science writer Elizabeth Royte leads us on the wild adventure that begins once our trash hits the bottom of the can.
Is it good to be green? The answer, of course, is yes -- but solving the world's ecological problems is more complicated than many people think. This thought-provoking book explodes some of the myths about easy planet-saving measures. It was written for worriers who want to save our planet but are confused by extremist propaganda from both sides.
Green, Greener, Greenest offers flexible tips for everyday living, all categorized as "green," "greener," and "greenest." Cutting through the labeling and the hype, it helps readers choose the advice that fits their schedule, their budget, and their interests, with the understanding that there's never one "right way" to make a difference.
When the author heard of the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, he figured he would interview a few oceanographers, talk to a few beachcombers, and read up on Arctic science and geography. But questions can be like ocean currents: wade in too far, and they carry you away. His accidental odyssey pulls him into the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors, and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. This work is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable. With each new discovery, he learns of another loose thread, and with each successive chase, he comes closer to understanding where his castaway quarry comes from and where it goes.
Going green doesn't mean spending big bucks on organic food, solar panels, and hybrid cars. At its core, green living is simply about moderation, efficiency, and living less expensively. Included are hundreds of habit-shifting suggestions to leave you with thousands of dollars you would otherwise never see again. These are tiny modifications that any family can make.
Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things takes you to the places and people you touch every day-when you sip your coffee, tie your shoes, click your mouse, or step on the gas. Once you follow a day in the life of an average North American and see the secret lives of your food, your clothes, and your toys, your world will never look the same.
Looks at the relationship between American consumers and the environment, identifying the most significant consumer-related environmental problems, as well as the most damaging spending categories; discusses priority actions people should take to protect the environment; and includes rules for responsible consumption.
In this book, the author challenges to transform our non-sustainable culture by transforming ourselves. For the author, our current "old normal" lifestyle, buying water in disposable bottles, allowing the government to ignore global warming, will not preserve the planet. To nurture our world, he challenges us to rethink our lives, stand up for a healthy planet and move towards a "new normal" lifestyle in an agenda that includes: Initiating local business alliances that actively lobby for local buying ; Creating an investment strategy that values the balance of nature ; Supporting the design, manufacture, and use of products made with natural chemicals ; Publicly advocating a more efficient use of water by placing a higher cultural value on wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes. He urges readers to promote environmental health by lobbying for sustainable lifestyle habits, covering such practices as buying locally, using natural chemicals, and conserving water.
Whether buying a pair of jeans or applying to college, everyday decisions, big and small, have become increasingly complex due to the abundance of choice with which we are presented. As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction--but choice overload can make you question your decisions before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for failures. This can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and stress. In this book, social scientist Schwartz explains at what point choice--the hallmark of individual freedom that we so cherish--becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. He offers practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
Tracks the life of the Stuff we use every day--where our cotton T-shirts, laptop computers, and aluminum cans come from, how they are produced, distributed, and consumed, and where they go when we throw them out.
Watch Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness
TEDTalks shares the best ideas from the TED Conference with the world, for free: trusted voices and convention-breaking mavericks, icons and geniuses, all giving the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. TEDTalks are licensed under Creative Commons. Look for more TEDTalks on YouTube or the TED web site.
Watch The Story of Stuff
From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.
The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.