Elevate Difference

The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make A Big Difference

Using organic sunscreen. Buying beer on tap. Opting for eco-friendly hair dye. Simple things that can go a long way towards making a greener planet. That's the philosophy of Jodi Helmer’s book, The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference. While the more hard-core environmentalists among us invest in worm-powered composting, solar panels, or hybrid car, Helmer provides 365 small, easy-to-implement tips for even the most eco-averse.

The beauty of Helmer’s book is that most—if not all—of her tips require minimal cost and minimal effort, addressing a common concern that becoming "eco-friendly" is either too expensive, too time consuming, or a combination of the two. While I feared The Green Year would fall into the trendy, kitschy eco category that seems to be popping up everywhere, her attitude that living in an ecologically friendly way is best done in baby steps means her suggestions are likely to outlast trend status and become real lifestyle changes.

Admittedly, some of Helmer's tips are old hat, such as using LED light bulbs (but really, among 365 tips, you’ve got to expect that). Others, like turning down your thermostat, dining in instead of ordering takeout, and sending holiday e-cards may be things you do already—giving you an opportunity to pat yourself on the back.

Ultimately, Helmer's book may not be for some of the more devoted environmentalists. However, if your resolution was to "go green" this year, The Green Year is most definitely a must-buy. Just remember to recycle or pass it on when you’re done.

Written by: Gwen Emmons, March 26th 2009

Hey any recommendation for a feminist holiday e-card to send out this year?

Thanks for any recommendations! :-)