Change the World for Ten Bucks

We all want to help the world become a better place - but most of us are struggling to pay our food and electricity bills. We can't donate thousands of dollars to drill wells for the 1.1 billion people with no access to clean water. What can we do to help?

Change the World for Ten Bucks That's where this book comes in. This is not a scholarly tome. It is simply 50 short ideas - each with a photo or two - to get you started. None of these ideas are rocket science, but even if just one new idea gets you thinking, the book has done its job.

Item 1. Use reusable shopping bags. Surely everyone has heard this by now! I have numerous shopping bags that I carry with me. If someone is still getting disposable plastic bags, hopefully this reminder will get them to finally stop doing that.

Item 3. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Again, isn't everyone doing this? Why would they not do it? It saves you money, it saves the world ecology!

Other tips might be more fresh. Learn first aid. Statistics show the person you're most likely to save is a family member or friend! Talk about an incredibly valuable way to help your immediate community. The Red Cross holds training sessions all the time.

I do have an issue with item #8. This is "take a bath with someone you love" and has a series of line drawing pictures of a naked woman having sex with a guy. Her breasts are often visible and they are in obvious sexual positions. This two page spread instantly makes this book NOT appropriate for kids and that makes it lose a star for me. It greatly reduces the audience I'd feel comfortable recommending the book to.

I also have to complain that tip 39 is to unplug your cell phone charger when not in use. Tip 12 was to unplug appliances when not in use. Tip 21 was to turn off lights when not in use. Surely these could be a single tip and we'd have two more spots for much more "unusual" ideas?

Action 40 is simply a list of URLs to go to. harley-davidson.com? lasvegasfanclub.com? I can understand the links to PBS and the peace corp, but the go-green value of many of the rest are less clear.

I always feel a twinge of annoyance when a book like this lists as one of its tips to "give copies of this book to every single person you meet!!!" (quote mine, not theirs). That's not valid to me.

And, even though they say to eat local, they also say "hang up your hunting rifle". If someone is going to eat meat, isn't it far more ecologically sound for them to shoot their own deer in their back yard and use every inch of the meet? I'm not a hunter myself, but I see some disconnect in their messages.

So the summary? I love the idea. I love that while most of us know most of these things, there will always be a random new idea that speaks to you. They want to cover all the bases so a person new to living greenly can get a good grounding. However, some of the tips concern me. They could have done a much better job making 50 completely distinct tips that really got people thinking. They also could have done it in a 100% family friendly manner.

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Environment / Green Living Tips