Keep, keep, recycle, toss.
If only everything was as easy as sorting through mail, decluttering the family room, or cleaning the pantry. You keep what you need and you do the right thing by passing the rest on to someone who’d use it, or to the recycler. This Earth Day, why not learn what else you can do to make your home and your life greener?
First of all, doing better starts within, and “Under the Sky We Make: How to Be Human in a Warming World,” by Kimberly Nicholas, Ph.D., (Putnam) promises to give you the boost you need to make changes in your life, starting with a nonthreatening education. No scolding here, just help doing right.
You can learn to do right by the bees, too, by reading “Bee People and the Bugs They Love,” by Frank Mortimer (Citadel Press). No doubt, you’ve already heard that bees are in trouble and that saving them is going to take lots of effort. Peek into hives and bee lives with the help of hobbyists, beekeepers and this book.
The reader who’s on a higher level of green will enjoy having “The Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living,” by Sarah Lozanova (Princeton Architectural Press). In this book, you’ll learn more about making your day-to-day life seriously green, including heating and cooling your home, becoming zero-waste, and trying some easy-to-do gardening projects that are Earth-friendly.
Sometimes, though, you just don’t know. Can this bit of garbage be recycled, and why not? Learn more in “Can I Recycle This: A Guide to Better Recycling,” by Jennie Romer, illustrated by Christie Young (Penguin) in an easy-to-follow format that uses fun graphs and real truth about the business of recycling.
You probably know where all this plastic has come from. Maybe, sort of. In “Plastic: An Autobiography,” by Allison Cobb (Nightboat Books, distributed by Perseus Book Group), the author looks at a lifetime spent with plastic, beginning with a single car part that landed in her yard. It was not the first piece of plastic she’d ever found and it was far from the last. This book is part meditation on environmentalism, part memoir, and all thought-provoking. You’ll find this book available on April 20.
Also available on April 20 is “Holding Back the River: The Struggle Against Nature on America’s Waterways,” by Tyler J. Kelley (Avid Reader Press). We like to think that we have control over our waterways and what floats on them but, focusing on the nation’s most-relied-upon rivers, this book introduces readers to the people whose lives depend on the rivers in many ways, and it exposes the mythology and the truth of what could happen if the dams, locks, or gates fail, ecologically, economically, and to society. Those structures are aging. Learn what’s being done about them.
For more books, and more ideas on keeping your home and your family as ecology-minded as possible, check with your favorite librarian or bookseller. They’ll know exactly which green-thinking books you should keep on your shelf.