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College Campuses Drive Green Initiatives
EnviroCitizen.org explored initiatives taking place on college campuses to reduce the footprints of these large users of energy and other resources. Here is what we found.
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How Eco-Friendly are your Buys?
In the midst of a green revolution, many companies and industries are guilty of "green washing".
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Greening the College Curriculum by Jonathan Collett
If you’re a professor, "Greening the College Curriculum" by Jonathan Collett is an essential book for any current or aspiring professor.
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EnviroCitizen Celebrates "Clean Up The World"
Here at Envirocitizen.org, we are always looking for new ways to help and be a major part of a community that provides us all with a cleaner, safer, healthier world. And, with it being September 17th, there is no better opportunity for you to help us in our effort. Every year, from September 17th-19th, is “Clean Up the World” weekend. Hopefully you don’t stop after this weekend, though. Here at EnviroCitizen we are constantly trying to make the earth a greener place and exhort you to join us
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Earth Day 2010
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, but it symbolizes much more than that. Earth day is a day where citizens around the world pay global respect to the planet they live on. It is a day to contemplate the environment and our individual and collective impact on it. A day to reflect on the growth of knowledge we now have on the issues of climate change and global warming. And a day to consider new possibilities in our homes and daily activities like energy efficiency, sustainabilit
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The Green Pig Syndrome
One would hope that what I am about to say is mostly fantasy, but I don’t think so. On the heels of a variety of calls from people claiming to be environmentally concerned, I am finding that environmental issues rarely supersede convenience and cost. One remarkable comment came when a person replied to me, “I don’t mind being environmental as long as it doesn’t cost me anything.” Frankly, I was too shocked to respond like I should have. The best response was that irresponsibility is costing
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Ten ways to Greenwash Your Company
Green Misdirection: Ignore the real issue and divert attention to the other things that are better. For example, Fiji bottled water operates out of a LEED silver certified building, though they transport the water more than 5000 to the US, put it in plastic bottles, and ship it again throughout the country.
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The Future of Greenwashed Companies
The public fraud of unaudited and purposely misleading Green certification will certainly run ashore in the near future. Some enterprising investigative reporter will start turning over rocks and exposing the hidden truths that the creature beneath will not enjoy. The only question that will arise after the explosion of truth in the news media will be how quickly the programmer can get that badge of shame off the website.
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Governmental Guidance For Green Business
The problem of establishing a credential is the lack of information on the subject. The EPA has the DfE project that helps sectors improve their products or services. After more than a decade of public angst over the environmental issues, there has been little offered as a governmental solution. In the fall of 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514, which was one of the best outlines for the Green and sustainable businesses. This order was only applicable to governmental agenc
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Environmental Awareness on Earth Day and Beyond
Earth day is rapidly approaching and as our planet ages its need for rejuvenation becomes more apparent. This is the perfect time to renew our vows with recycling, reclaiming, conservation, and utilization of energy-efficient tools. To reacquaint yourself with this terminology go to Envirocitizen.org and browse the glossary of eco-friendly terms section. When combined, these tools have an astounding impact. The current environmental crises, for which we are largely responsible, are taking their
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Green Investing: Eco-friendly Investment Choices
At EnviroCitizen.org we support and encourage green investing. We can’t assure that investing in companies that are leading the way to a more energy efficient, sustainable planet will pay off any better than investing in any other companies or in general market indexes like the S&P 500. However, companies working to modernize the woefully inadequate power grid, as well as companies designing and providing renewable, sustainable energy sources will probably be decent bets. With the U.S. an
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What Computer Companies are Doing to be More Eco-Friendly
  Computers have become an indispensable aspect of modern American culture, as well as the global culture. If you're reading this online, it means that you either own a computer or have access to one. Billions of computers are being used right at this moment and millions more are being manufactured.
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Do Green Alternatives Really Cost More?
  If you're wondering if green alternatives cost more than conventional choices, the short answer is NO. It also depends on what kind of costs you're considering. If you're looking at the economic cost of green alternatives, some green choices will cost more.
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How to Spot Greenwashing
  Greenwashing is an unwanted by-product of the modern environmental movement. Greenwashing is a term that refers to the practice of companies advertising their products and policies to be good for the environment in an effort to get environmentally-conscious consumers to purchase their products.
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Carbon Footprint Calculators are Not All Created Equal
  In recent years, carbon footprint calculators have become incredibly popular. Basically, you answer a series of questions and then upon completion of the questionnaire, you are given a number, usually in the form of how many pounds of carbon dioxide emissions you are responsible for every year.
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New Orleans is Getting a Green Makeover
  After Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, more than 200,000 homes in New Orleans were destroyed and the city was left in ruins. Now, 4 years later, New Orleans is getting a green makeover. Global Green USA, the American division of an international environmental organization, is at the front of the green makeover of New Orleans.
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How Much Land It Would Take to Make the U.S. Entirely Energy-Independent
  Making the United States energy-independent is quite possible; it all depends on how Americans go about doing it. To start, there’s the question of renewable energy versus clean energy.
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The Green Gold Rush
  There's a mine in Mountain Pass, California that holds the world's richest proven reserve of rare earth metals. These rare earth metals are essential components to many of the greenest technologies out there, like the Toyota Prius, other hybrid vehicles and the generators in wind turbines.
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Could Oceans be the Solution to Global Warming?
  Global warming is a huge problem. The implications of global warming are very scary. Scientists predict things like sea levels rising, coastal cities disappearing under water, more extreme weather, droughts, floods and more.
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The Water War in Iraq
  Iraq is faced with quite the dilemma in regards to their water supply. The Iraqi war on water is going to be big; experts suggest that the water war may do what decades of war haven’t been able to do — destroy the country.
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How Arctic Temperatures are Explaining Global Warming
  If you look at a graph that depicts the average Arctic temperature over the past 2,000 years, you'll see a line that slowly declines as it moves to the right, implying that from 0 C.E. (common era) to about 1900, the average Arctic temperature was slowly declining by about a half of one degree Celsius or about one degree Fahrenheit.
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The America of the Future: High-Speed Passenger Rail Lines
  In April of 2009, President Obama unveiled his administration's plan for a national network of high-speed passenger rail lines. He noted the importance of this plan, recognizing that it would reduce traffic congestion and dependence on foreign oil and it would improve the environment. With Vice President Biden, President Obama stated that Americans need "clean, efficient travel".
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What the Government is Doing to Help You Go Green
  The United States government is doing as much as it can to help Americans go green, especially now that Barack Obama is President. One of the most popular and effective things they're doing is the Energy Star program.
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Get Schooled: Green Real Estate Education
  Green Real Estate Education offers green building courses to train real estate professionals. Their Real Estate Environmental and Energy Education Certification Series is the one of a kind, offering tools and resources for real estate professionals to better understand energy efficiency, sustainability and green building.
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The Holcim Foundation: Making Homes and Cities Greener All Around the World
  The Holcim Foundation supports efforts that combine sustainable construction solutions with innovative architecture and enhanced quality of life beyond conventional solutions. The Holcim Foundation promotes non-commercial, sustainable development throughout the world.
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Recycling for Charity
  Any environmentalist knows that recycling makes a lot of sense. You probably already recycle your paper, plastic and aluminum waste right in your kitchen and you may recycle other things, too.
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Green Contraptions and Will Blow Your Mind
  There are a lot of very cool green contraptions out there, and they all exhibit the kind of innovation that Americans need to solve environmental problems. One such contraption is the RITI printer.
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The Eco Institution
  The modern environmental movement is a grassroots movement. It works from the ground up, and that means that people like you need to initiate the change that you wish to see. One person who wanted to actively cause change is Kevin Hopkins, a former White House Policy Advisor.
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Free Parking Isn't Free
  You may currently be making choices to reduce your environmental impact on a daily basis. Maybe you drive a fuel-efficient car or even a hybrid vehicle. When you drive that hybrid vehicle, you are definitely reducing your environmental impact.
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Smart Parking: Cookie-Cutter Parking Lots are a Thing of the Past
  There are a lot of parking lots in the United States. Parking lots are problematic when it comes to the environment for many reasons. To start, parking lots are sources of water pollution because of the use of impervious surfaces.
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How Supporting Environmental Groups Can Liven Up Your Home (and Make it Eco-Friendly)
  EnviroCitizen.org believes that there are lots of reasons to donate your time and/or money to environmental groups. The most obvious reason is that you are contributing to a cause that is worthy, noble and important. Environmental groups are most often non-profit organizations.
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Rethinking the Picnic: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Picnic
  Picnics are a perfect example of how many of us would prefer to spend our leisure time. Picnics are often idealized with red and white checkered blankets, wicker baskets and familiar comfort foods like potato salad.
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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Thinking Outside the Green Box
  You're probably familiar with the popular catchphrase, "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." This is a great way to help people to identify how they can reduce their environmental impact. The issue many people have with extreme environmentalist views is that they are very restrictive.
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D-I-Y: The Earth's Best Friend
  D-I-Y or "do it yourself" is a broad concept idea that makes anything more eco-friendly. Whether it's washing your car, eating dinner, decorating your home, getting from point A to B or disposing of trash, EnviroCitizen.org has found that if you do it yourself you'll be able to lead a more eco-friendly life and decrease your carbon footprint.
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The Most Eco-Friendly Buys: Yard Sales
  Purchasing eco-friendly goods doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go to an up-scale store. Even if a store only sells eco-friendly, sustainable goods, it still has overhead costs and operating costs that increase both the store's carbon footprint and your own if you shop there.
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How to Make Recycling As Easy As 1-2-3
  Recycling is one of the first things most people think about when the word "environmentalist" is mentioned. It can be easy, it's simple and it's quick. However, not everyone is doing it! Surprisingly, less than half of Americans recycle all the time.
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Earth - The Sequel DVD
  Fred Krupp, the Director of the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote an amazing book, Earth: The Sequel – The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming.
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Beyond Growth by Herman Daly
  Environmentalists and economists don't always see eye-to-eye. Economists view environmentalists as an obstacle to growth and profit, while environmentalists view economists as an obstacle to the protection of the environment and sustainability.
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Highlighting a Carbon Credit Dealer: TerraPass
  TerraPass is a fun, eco-friendly carbon credit dealer that specializes in carbon offsets. An impressive fact that this company is that as of August 2009, TerraPass has reduced their carbon emissions by 1,456,397,522 pounds ! They offer unique, relevant, entertaining products.
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The History of the Carbon Credit
  If you stay up to date on current events, chances are you've heard about carbon credits. Hundreds (if not thousands) of companies are being founded every day to trade carbon credits.
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Highlighting a Carbon Credit Dealer: LiveNeutral
  LiveNeutral is a carbon credit dealer with a commitment to combating global warming. LiveNeutral was created educate people about and promote action against the crisis of greenhouse gas emissions.
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The Green Glossary to Make Your Lifestyle Green
  In a time where we have the benefit of unlimited resources at our fingertips, it is no wonder EnviroCitizen.org has found that many individuals are acting as their own green lifestyle consultants!
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Highlighting a Green Building: The Chartwell School
  Though attention is often paid to green commercial buildings, EnviroCitizen.org wanted to highlight a school that has actually gone green! The Chartwell School, located in Seaside, California, is the only educational institution in the entire country that has the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) Platinum rating.
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Green Terms
In a time where "green" and "eco-friendly" are applied to practically every facet of our lives, it’s important to understand what some of these terms really mean. A recent study showed that almost half of recent college graduates were unable to explain the true causes of global warming. Here are the definitions of a few of the most relevant and misunderstood green terms.
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Going Green with Grant Money
With the green revolution in full swing, there is plenty of grant money out there to make you, your business, or your school green. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint or widen your customer base to include the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers, grant money can help make the transition a little easier on your wallet.
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Children's Checklist for Going Green
If you're a parent and want your children to live a green life, there are lots of things you can do to make their environments greener, like using green cleaning products to clean their rooms and toys. Companies like Seventh Generation, Method, and Mrs. Meyers all make green cleaning products, or you can make your own cleaning solutions with vinegar or baking soda.
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Business Checklist for Going Green
If you own a business, there are many things that you can do to make your business greener, even if your products aren’t necessarily eco-friendly or environmentally minded.
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What is the Kyoto Protocal
  The Kyoto Protocol is a code of behavior set up for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (also referred to as UNFCCC or FCCC). This is an international environmental treaty. Their goal is to achieve “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” This means that the Kyoto Protocol establishes a legally binding commitment for the reduction of four main greenhouse gas
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What are carbon Taxes
  Carbon taxes are taxes on environmental emissions of carbon dioxide and other green house gases. They work in correlation with the Kyoto Protocol, carbon reductions and more. Carbon taxes are effective taxes on the use of fossil fuels. There are schemes to include other green house gasses with global warming potential when internationally accepted scales of equivalence for other green house gases in units of tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. The purpose of carbon tax is to protect the en
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Green IT Training
Whether you want to give yourself an edge in a competitive market or you’re looking for a new job and want to improve your skills, there are a wealth of green information technology courses online that offer relevant, effective training.
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Eco Achievers
Eco Achievers is one of the best online resources for educating yourself on renewable energy and creating a green energy home. It’s a free service that offers courses designed by professionals. Eco Achievers is dedicated to quality learning and is one of the few learning institutions that meet U.S. Green Building Council Education Provider Program standards. As their website claims, they are “committed to enhancing the ongoing professional development of the green building industry through top-q
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Free Green Education
Is your bookshelf filled with books on eco-friendly, sustainable living? Is your inbox filled with newsletters on the same subject? Do you have piles of green magazines? And, are you still hungry for more? There are many free green courses offered, both in your local community and online. By taking a free green course, you can broaden your knowledge of environmental issues, and even be able to add it to your resume. These courses are professional and academically backed, so you’ll be getting a t
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An Inconvenient Truth
It seems like everyone has seen the movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” however it’s apparent there are still people out there who haven’t seen the film. One woman was quoted saying, “What is it about? It sounds like it’s about war. Are we going to war?” In a way, yes, we are going to war, but it’s not the typical war with soldiers, battlefields, and guns. It’s a war against time, a war against ourselves.
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Gorillas in the Mist
Dian Fossey is the kind of women many feminists idolize. She’s regarded by environmentalists and naturalists as the queen of gorillas. Fossey was an amazing person, and “Gorillas in the Mist” tells her story. The movie, starring Sigourney Weaver, was nominated for many awards and received universal praise.
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Grizzly Man
“Grizzly Man” is a stunning, controversial film that chronicles the life and death of Timothy Treadwell, a bear enthusiast who spent thirteen consecutive summers in the Katmai National Park and Preserve of Alaska with bears. Treadwell was passionate about bears, in his desire to both study and protect them.
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March of the Penguins
If you haven’t seen “March of the Penguins,” now is the time. It is a stunning movie, both visually and in its content. The narrator, Morgan Freeman carries you through an astonishing year in the life of an Emperor Penguin. “March of the Penguins” will awe you, leave you in tears at times, and in a state of pure joy at others. It is an amazing documentary of an extraordinary species. Moreover, this movie offers lessons of determination, commitment, and a love for one’s children.
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The 11th Hour
Environmentalists have been around for quite some time. Pioneers like John Muir and Henry David Thoreau wrote about the importance of conservation more than a century ago, and there have been countless environmentalists since then. The spirit of conservation has ebbed and flowed through the decades. But you know the environmental movement has gone mainstream when Hollywood gets involved.
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Planet Earth Series
BBC’s “Planet Earth” series is possibly the greatest nature series ever produced. It’s an eleven-part series organized into fifty-minute episodes that each cover a specific geographical region or wildlife habitat. Throughout the series, our planet Earth is revealed and glorified through astounding visual and auditory zeniths.
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Wall-E
The green revolution has inspired green messages in every form, and family movies are no exception. “Wall-E” is a perfect example of a great children’s movie that’s also terrific for adults combined with a powerful message about the need to care for our earth. As an added bonus, the graphics are fantastic and the plot will enthrall any moviegoer.
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Future Fuels
“Future Fuels” is his relatively short (just over a half of an hour) program that is a great instructional tool. Unlike many environmental documentaries, which overwhelm audiences with global problems that make an individual feel like any effort is futile, “Future Fuels: Consumers Guide to Alternative Energy” offers simple and easy ways to conserve energy and save money at home, say “no” to foreign oil, and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a refreshingly simple environmental program.
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The Cost of Oil
With a world population of almost seven billion, it’s hard to contemplate how filling up your car with gas affects the rest of the population. It begins with gas station employees who earn their wages from you filling up. It moves on to the employees of the corporation that brought the fuel to the gas station, then stretches to the countries where we get our oil and the workers who physically extract the oil from the earth.
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King Corn
“King Corn” is a great documentary explaining the dynamics of our surplus of corn and how it is affecting our health. Director Aaron Woolf and co-writers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis provide proof that this starchy vegetable is overgrown with government subsidies and an intentional effort to slip the stuff into our diet. Cheney and Ellis, both Yale graduates, took it upon themselves to grow an acre of corn themselves. Throughout the documentary, they meet with agronomists, historians, and other exp
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Green Crafts for Children by Ryland Peters
“Green Crafts for Children,” by Emma Hardy, is a great book to inspire creativity in any adult or child. In a time of nature-deficit disorder and a growing disconnect between parents and children (thanks to TV, video games, the internet, iPods, and other electronics), this book might just be one of the best things you could do to get in touch with your child, and have fun, too.
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Ecoloical Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
“Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Can Buy Can Change Everything,” will change . The author, Daniel Goleman, is a best-selling writer who reveals the hidden costs of what we buy, like the externalized costs that the environment pays for. Goleman also illustrates new market forces that can drive the changes we must make to prevent catastrophe.
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Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
“Hot, Flat and Crowded” is by bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman who argues an ambitious national strategy which he calls “geo-greenism.” Friedman claims it is what we need to “save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure.”
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Hoot by Carl Hiassen
“Hoot,” written by Carol Hiaasen, is a perfect book for pre-teens and older children who are interested in stories of what children can do to protect our environment. It carries a strong environmental message and, for adult readers who enjoy his writing style in “Nature Girl” and “Skinny Dip,” this book is equally enjoyable, although geared toward a younger audience.
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Biophilia by E.O. Wilson
If you’re tired of using “green” and “eco-fill-in-the-blank,” consider going deeper into environmentalism and switch to “biophilia.” For anyone who enjoys picking apart a word, its definition is clear: a love of living things.
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The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry
If you haven’t heard of Wendell Berry, now is the time to get acquainted with this amazing author. Berry is a jack of many trades; an academic, a cultural and economic critic, and a farmer. He was won numerous awards for his novels, essays, poetry, and short stories.
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Tales of the Tree People by Lori Mazzola
Lori Mazzola’s book “Tales of the Tree People” is an excellent example of magical realism, a genre of writing where magical elements or illogical scenarios seem realistic, or even normal. This book is a story about a brother and sister, Mars and Venus, who befriend a willow named Weeping Wendy. With their new friend, the siblings begin a journey to enlightenment.
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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver is a bestselling author who has won many literary awards and been featured on Oprah’s Book Club selection. Kingsolver was previously known for her book, “The Poisonwood Bible,” but her newest work, “Animal Vegetable Miracle,” is quickly changing that.
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The Logic of Sufficiency by Thomas Princen
In a time where green buzzwords fly off the radio and out of news reporters’ mouths, it’s easy to lose the importance of such buzzwords. Consider, instead, turning off the radio and TV and switching your frame of mind to a less used but equally important green term: sufficiency.
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Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” is a mind-blowing book that details the production links in the chain of the food we consume. This book is incredibly relevant as we address our complex relationship with our food and the environmental implications that we either assume are irrelevant or choose to ignore. It’s also an easy read that’s engaging and interesting.
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Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
“Guns Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” was written in 1997 by Jared Diamond. Diamond was awarded the Pulitzer the following year for this book, as well as the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. This is a great book that explains why Eurasian civilizations have survived and conquered others. The author concludes that Eurasian societies had tools that other societies lacked both in the thing itself and in a response to them: guns, germs, and steel.
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Collapse by Jared Diamond
If you’re looking for a book to stretch the limits of your mind, read Jared Diamond’s book, “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”. This book is incredibly relevant for the green scene because it illustrates past cultures that failed because of their own practices. The message gives you an eerie feeling of familiarity and impending doom. But “Collapse” also leaves readers with hope as Diamond showcases modern societies that fixed their self-imposed problems.
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Investing in Renewable Energy
If you’re looking to invest in renewable energy, Jeff Siegel’s book, “Investing in Renewable Energy,” provides great information not only on the actual investing in stocks, but also in the knowledge you need to discern the differences between different stocks and technologies, and how each technology works.
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Ecology Hall of Fame
If you’re starting to live more eco-friendly, it’s important to know how the environmental movement began and evolved. More than anything else, it’s inspiring to understand how the actions of these individuals shaped our world.
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Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Released in 1962, “Silent Spring” was the first book to shatter the modern mainstream American paradigm. Written by naturalist Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring” unveiled the troubling atrocities and reality of chemicals used in agriculture. In an age where more than 300,000 books are published annually in the United States, it is sometimes easy to forgo books not written in the past year or two. Publishers today advertise the importance of new information and relevant topics, but “Silent Spring” co
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The World without Us by Alan Weisman
Alan Weisman quotes an elderly woman, “We’re down to eating our ancestors, what is left?” Weisman is referring to an Ecuadorian woman refusing to eat a bowl of monkey meat, which, when she was younger, was taboo. By page three of “The World without Us,” you’ll be hooked.
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Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
If you have children, “Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louv, is probably one of the most important books you’ll read. Louv discusses a trend he calls nature-deficit disorder. This disorder is the result of a disconnect between children and nature which Louv believes causes a variety of symptoms, including obesity, attention-deficit disorder (ADD), and depression.
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Water Capture and Recapture
After you’ve taken the simple steps to reducing your household carbon footprint, like making the switch to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, turned your thermostat up or down (depending on the season), and implemented a household recycling program, you may be wondering what step to take next.
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