The title of this book is a dead-on description of me, and I’m pretty sure almost everyone reading this review would say the same. More than just a list of high-minded, high-priced ideas that most of us can’t afford to even consider, The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget makes good on the promise in its subtitle: save money, save time, and save the planet with the commonsense steps Author Josh Dorfman suggests. Little things really do add up, but only if a lot of us utilize them.
Dorfman hosts The Lazy Environmentalist on the Sundance Channel, so he’s in the thick of it when it comes to locating green actions and resources. His first chapter is dedicated to the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle. We should all be ashamed of ourselves for needing guidance in this area; every generation before the Baby Boomers lived by the 3Rs as a matter of course. But since we oh-so-quickly forgot how to live sensibly, Dorfman is wise to start his book with something that is likely to have the most impact on our wallets as well as our world.
Following chapters run the gamut from style (“…it is possible to fill your closet with affordable, stylish clothing that was made responsibly.”) to water and energy conservation (“… the average American household of four uses about 146,000 gallons of water annually or the equivalent of 100 gallons per day per person.”) While statistics are important in helping us recognize how wasteful we are, they make up very little of The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. Dorfman isn’t preaching. The purpose of this book is to help people who want to be responsible find reasonable, affordable, and effective ways to live comfortably and still save what’s left of the planet.
Every chapter includes brief sections on methods, services, and products that readers may not have encountered elsewhere. In the chapter on real estate, for instance, we learn about building green houses from the ground up but also find ideas for remodeling with healthy, sustainable materials such as non-toxic paint, flooring made from renewable substances, and budget-friendly but classy architectural salvage.
Dorfman wraps up each chapter with a list of more sources for products and information. Want to recycle your old cameras or iPods? Dorfman’s 3Rs chapter has a wide selection of options for you, including several places that pay for your useless junk. The more adventurous readers will find more than a half-dozen sources for gasoline-saving motor scooters in the chapter about transportation. Let’s not forget the little ones; they can be stylishly green with Dorfman’s list of sustainable clothing, toys, and entertainment outlets.
Living green doesn’t mean living with deprivation. The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget is full of tips and leads that enhance comfort and improve quality of life, and the frugality factor turns up as part of the overall sustainable objective. It’s ideal for the newly green, but also valuable for the seasoned tree-hugger looking to live an even more sustainable lifestyle. This is the book that everyone can use to change the world without breaking a sweat. Read it, and then recycle it by passing it on to a high-minded, lazy, frugal friend.