The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment

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"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment" is a comprehensive guide to the ways an average citizen can make every day Earth Day. We learn how the environment got in this condition and how we can improve it by reducing, reusing, and recycling at home, at work, and everywhere else. The book suggests groups and organizations to join or to go to for information.
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"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment" is a comprehensive guide to the ways an average citizen can make every day Earth Day. We learn how the environment got in this condition and how we can improve it by reducing, reusing, and recycling at home, at work, and everywhere else. The book suggests groups and organizations to join or to go to for information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028639826
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 12/14/2000
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Environment and You 1
1 It's Our Home 3
Happy Birthday, Earth Day! 4
The Environmental Century 5
What's All This Environmental Stuff? 5
Why Is This Important? 7
Lessons from Kindergarten 8
The "Big Three" Global Threats 9
Crisis? What Crisis? 12
There's Still Time 12
2 Something Old, Something New 15
An Old Problem 16
Hitting the Limits in the Past 17
Limitless Resources? 18
From Sea to Shining Sea 18
Voices in the Wilderness 20
Taking Action 21
The Rise of the Consumer Society 21
Out of Control! 23
Getting Our Act Together 23
Earth Day and the EPA 23
More Progress 24
The Throwaway Society 24
A Global Problem 25
3 The Air We Breathe 27
Up in the Air 28
Global Warming 28
Why Is It Important? 30
A Hole in the Sky 31
Ouch--Acid Rain! 33
Long-Term Consequences 34
Time Out 36
4 Water: Our Most Precious Resource 39
Water 101 40
Going, Going, Gone? 40
Similar Problems 42
Irrigation 42
Global Warming 43
Conservation 44
An Ocean of Trouble 45
Threats to Our Oceans 46
A Watershed 49
5 The Land We Live On 51
The Garbage Barge Incident 52
Talkin' Trash 52
Hot Stuff! 53
Where Have All the Forests Gone? 56
A Developing Dilemma 58
Auto-Hypnosis 60
Down on the Farm 61
The Web of Life 63
6 So, What Can You Do About It? 65
Don't Just Sit There--Do Something! 66
The Three Rs 66
Reduce Your Use 67
Why Reduce? 67
What to Reduce 69
Reuse Something 70
Why Reuse? 71
Recycle Something 71
Why Recycle? 72
Promote Sustainability 72
Part 2 Reduce Your Use 75
7 The (Not So) Quick Fix 77
Fast Track to a Greener Planet 78
Easier Said Than Done 78
Old Habits Die Hard 79
Eliminate That Waste 80
Do We Really Need to Reduce? 81
Our Trash-Filled Footprint 82
Home, Sweet Home 83
Waste Not, Want Not 85
8 A Houseful of Savings 87
Start Saving at Home 88
Cool Stuff 89
Hot Stuff 90
Round and Round 92
A Bright Idea 92
Beat Heat Loss 93
Water Conservation 95
Hazardous Waste 96
9 Food for Thought 99
The Overfed American 100
Time for Action 101
Do You Really Want to Eat That? 103
How Do You Pronounce This? 104
A Gradual Shift 105
Co-ops 107
Community-Supported Agriculture 107
Farmer's Markets 108
10 More Ways to Reduce 111
Become a Savvy Shopper 112
Avoid Excessive Packaging 115
Eliminate Single-Use Products 116
What About Seldom-Used Products? 117
Is Chepaer Better? 118
TV or not TV? 119
More Fun, Less Stuff 120
It's Vacation Time! 121
11 Help, I Wanna Get Off! 125
Waking Up from the American Dream 126
Affluenza 126
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall 128
New Lifestyle Strategies 130
It's Not So Simple 133
Live Better on Less 134
Part 3 Reuse It 137
12 Choose to Reuse 139
A Very Old Strategy 140
Why Should You Reuse? 142
Types of Reuse 144
Reuse Basics 145
When Not to Reuse 147
13 Reuse Strategies 149
Green Design 150
Maintenance 151
Repair 151
Something Borrowed 152
Joint Ownership 152
Rental 153
Remanufacture 153
Regeneration 154
Donation 154
It's Free! 155
Special Reuse Events 157
14 At Home 159
Reuse at Home 160
Appliances 160
In the Kitchen 161
The Bathroom 163
The Bedroom 164
The Living Room 166
Throughout the Home 167
15 At Work ... and Beyond 169
In the Office 170
Computers 170
Computer Supplies 172
Copying Machines 172
Fax Machines 173
Office Supplies 173
Furniture 174
Shipping Supplies 175
Other Reuse Ideas 177
16 The Used Marketplace 179
Used Markets 180
Auctions 180
Classifieds 182
Exchanges 183
Flea Markets 184
Reuse Yards 185
Secondhand Stores 185
Surplus 186
Tag Sales 186
Part 4 Recycle It 189
17 Recycling Basics 191
Recycled History 192
The Great Debate 193
Recycling 101 195
Is It Really Recycled? 197
Composting 198
Can You Recycle It? 198
Which Stuff Goes Where? 198
It's Simple 199
18 Recyclable Products 201
Commonly Recycled Materials 202
Aluminum 202
Glass 202
Paper and Paper Products 203
Steel 205
Plastics Are (Almost) Forever 205
Hazardous Waste 207
Problem Items 208
19 Composting 213
Nature's Way 214
Which Method? 214
What You Will Need 215
How It Happens 216
Do You Need a Bin? 217
What Else Do You Need? 219
Troubleshooting Tips 219
Old Family Recipes 219
Back to the Garden 221
20 Completing the Circle 223
Why Buy Recycled? 224
Read the Fine Print 225
Buy Recycled Programs 225
What's Available? 227
Buying--and Selling--Recycled 229
Additional Resources 230
Part 5 A Sustainable Future 233
21 Sustainability 235
What Is Sustainability? 236
The Problems 237
The Solutions 238
A Team Effort 241
It's Already Happening 244
22 Renewable Energy 247
Beginning of the End 248
Renewable Energy 248
Here Comes the Sun 251
The Winds of Change 252
Water Power 253
Ocean Energy 254
Geothermal 255
Biomass 256
Hydrogen 257
Consumer's Choice 258
23 Transportation 259
Car Talk 260
Alternative Energy Vehicles 262
The Plane Truth 267
Mass Transit 267
Riding the Rails 268
Pedal Power 269
24 Living Patterns 271
Nightmare on Elm Street 272
The Trouble with Sprawl 272
The High Costs of Sprawl 275
Way to Grow! 276
Good Examples 278
Get Involved 280
25 Population 281
The Population Time Bomb 282
Resource Demands 284
Reaching the Limits 285
The Need for a Policy 286
Tough Decisions 289
26 Green Plans 291
Green Plans 292
Big Problems = Big Solutions 292
A New Partnership 294
Green Plans in Action 294
Red, White, and Green 298
Will It Work Here? 299
A Long-Term Process 301
27 You Can Help 303
Important Issues 304
Our Attitudes and Values 304
Education 305
Peace and Disarmament 306
Social Justice 307
All Politics Is Local 308
Groups and Organizations 309
Get Involved 311
It's Up to Us 312
A Environmental Timeline 315
B Glossary of Terms 319
C Further Reading 323
D Groups, Organizations, and Other Resources 325
Index 335
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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Pros: Great organization and simplification of complex material.

    Pros: Great organization and simplification of complex material. I've seen very few books that can cover a complex topic like greenhouse gas and related material. 

    Cons: Doesn't really cover any new ground. Heavier on problems and less emphasis on implementation (in my opinion)

    This is your typical "What's going on with the environment?" book. If you are have been following climate change or anything else green. you won't find too much that is the different. Still, this is a decent read because it provides a concise and easily digestible guide to many important issues concerning our Earth. The author presents complex scientific issues in consumer-friendly language.

    The downside to that accessibility is that the book rehashes just about everything you will ever read on recycling, etc. There were a few little nuggets here and there, that I did not know, but for the most part, everything was the same old "Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce" message. The other downside is one that is a dilemma for most "green" books, applicability. The author presents a host of problems (greenhouse gases, loss of biodiversity, toxic poisons, etc.), but offers relatively light and simple solutions (turning off lights, writing to Congress, etc.) to deal with them. I agree that we need to conserve and reduce usage of energy, but we need to do more on all levels, ASAP. Saving a few minutes of energy on a light bulb can help, but that alone will not solve the environmental problems we are about to face. Still, I have to give the author credit for trying.

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