The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget is the follow up to the 2007 book The Lazy Environmentalist. While I didn’t review the first one, I did write about it while interviewing the author Josh Dorfman and thought it a very good resource.
The follow-up initially looks like it’ll be just a refresh on the first book with an eye on cost. But as you work your way through the book it turns out it’s much more than that.
The book was written after Josh’s brother mentioned that while he was confused about green products and what they did (hey, he should read our product reviews!), the main barrier to him going green was the expense.
The book starts with the usual intro and contents and then a chapter on the three ‘R’s’ – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Something any green readers will be familiar with but it’s interspersed with examples, companies and case studies.
Following chapters go into fashion, transport, energy, water, home, cleaning and so on. What each chapter does is talk about the subject, offering a few examples, include a case study or two from companies which offer green services (usually a director or founder is involved) and then finish with a comprehensive list of green companies with a paragraph on each one.
There really is a wealth of information on each subject and the companies are not always obscure ones. Big names are in there such as office store Staples for example, but it focuses on its environmentally friendly green range.
And to see the big names in there is a bit of a relief as the book does tend to rely on company web addresses meaning it will be a bit difficult for those uncomfortable with using the internet to find firms offering the service they want.
What you need to understand is that while the book does focus more on cost and saving money but going green, it is for the ‘lazy environmentalist’. There’s no sense of DIY or putting a bit of effort in to be green. It’s about getting companies to do things for you which of course they won’t do for free. So there’s a balance there between being lazy and cost – I’m sure a lot of suggestions can be done for much cheaper but with much more effort.
With its wealth of shops, case studies and interviews, the book is more of a resource than something you’d read from cover to cover.