Ed Begley, Jr.’s Guide to Sustainable Living: Learning to Conserve Resources and Manage an Eco-Conscious Life is Begley’s second book and it is crammed with useful information. The book will be most useful for homeowners, but it also contains information targeted at those who rent. It is organized in 3 sections:
- Conserve – reduce energy and water needs
- Produce – make your own power
- Manage – continue to refine your life and reduce your impact
Beginning with conservation and continuing through production and management, almost any green living topic related to your home is covered. Conservation includes the green home audit, electricity, lighting, insulation, windows & doors, and water usage. Production covers solar and wind power, building, remodeling, gardening/landscaping and compost. Managing your life and impact includes heating and cooling your home, heating water, decorating, cleaning, babies and nurseries.
Begley recommends that everyone start with a green home audit to establish a baseline. The audit will identify where the biggest inefficiencies are and help determine which changes will pay off most quickly. Conservation saves money by reducing waste. Producing power is cool, but has a longer payback period. Why pay to make power that is being wasted? Conserve first.
Ed Begley, Jr.’s Guide to Sustainable Living: Learning to Conserve Resources and Manage an Eco-Conscious Life packs a lot of information into 347 pages. But this is a book, not an encyclopedia, so there is much more that isn’t included. The book ends with a 7 ½ page resource guide listing the websites or web pages for all the resources mentioned in the book.
This is a good book for anyone interested in learning more about sustainable living. I think almost anyone can find suggestions for changes they can make to reduce their impact on the environment.