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Ready, Set, Green

Ready, Set, GreenGraham Hill
Ready? Set? Green! Living green means reversing climate change, but it also means protecting your kids and pets, improving your own health, and saving money. And it doesn¬?t necessarily demand a radical overhaul of your life¬?just some simple adjustments, such as switching to healthier cleaning products and driving fewer miles each week. Ready, Set, Green is the definitive (and recyclable) guide to modern green living. It offers solutions to make your home, office, car, and vacation more eco-friendly.

Including advice on how to properly insulate your house, cancel junk mail, and choose fruits and veggies wisely, Ready, Set, Green will help you change the future of the planet and restore balance to your daily life.

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Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make ThingsWilliam McDonough
Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better--say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually downcycling, creating hybrids of biological and technical nutrients which are then unrecoverable and unusable. The authors, an architect and a chemist, want to eliminate the concept of waste altogether, while preserving commerce and allowing for human nature. They offer several compelling examples of corporations that are not just doing less harm--they're actually doing some good for the environment and their neighborhoods, and making more money in the process. Cradle to Cradle is a refreshing change from the intractable environmental conflicts that dominate headlines. It's a handbook for 21st-century innovation and should be required reading for business hotshots and environmental activists. --Therese Littleton

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The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's DilemmaMichael Pollan
In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan writes about how our food is grown -- what it is, in fact, that we are eating. The book is really three in one: The first section discusses industrial farming; the second, organic food, both as big business and on a relatively small farm; and the third, what it is like to hunt and gather food for oneself. And each section culminates in a meal -- a cheeseburger and fries from McDonald's; roast chicken, vegetables and a salad from Whole Foods; and grilled chicken, corn and a chocolate soufflé (made with fresh eggs) from a sustainable farm; and, finally, mushrooms and pork, foraged from the wild.

The first section is a wake-up call for anyone who has ever been hungry. In the United States, Pollan makes clear, we're mostly fed by two things: corn and oil. We may not sit down to bowls of yummy petroleum, but almost everything we eat has used enormous amounts of fossil fuels to get to our tables. Oil products are part of the fertilizers that feed plants, the pesticides that keep insects away from them, the fuels used by the trains and trucks that transport them across the country, and the packaging in which they're wrapped. We're addicted to oil, and we really like to eat.

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An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient TruthAl Gore
Gore¬?s groundbreaking, battle cry of a follow-up to the bestselling Earth in the Balance¬?is being published to tie in with a documentary film of the same name. Both the book and film were inspired by a series of multimedia presentations on global warming that Gore created and delivers to groups around the world. With this book, Gore, who is one of our environmental heroes¬?and a leading expert¬?brings together leading-edge research from top scientists around the world; photographs, charts, and other illustrations; and personal anecdotes and observations to document the fast pace and wide scope of global warming. He presents, with alarming clarity and conclusiveness¬?and with humor, too¬?that the fact of global warming is not in question and that its consequences for the world we live in will be disastrous if left unchecked. This riveting new book¬?written in an accessible, entertaining style¬?will open the eyes of even the most skeptical.

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Natural Capitalism

Natural CapitalismPaul Hawken
In Natural Capitalism, three top strategists show how leading-edge companies are practicing a new type of industrialism that is more efficient and profitable while saving the environment and creating jobs. Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins write that in the next century, cars will get 200 miles per gallon without compromising safety and power, manufacturers will relentlessly recycle their products, and the world's standard of living will jump without further damaging natural resources. Is this the vision of a utopia? In fact, the changes described here could come about in the decades to come as the result of economic and technological trends already in place, the authors write.

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The 11th Hour

The 11th HourComparisons to Al Gore's Oscar-winning slide show will be inevitable, but there's a key difference between the two documentaries. An Inconvenient Truth was aimed at the PBS set, while Leonardo DiCaprio's The 11th Hour combines a traditional structure with a more MTV-friendly pace. Of course, neither was made by these public figures. Davis Guggenheim directed the former, while Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen are behind the latter. DiCaprio serves as producer, co-writer, and narrator (the three previously worked on the short films Global Warming and Water Planet). Their first feature combines a diverse array of interviews with a dizzying variety of images, both soothing and alarming (droughts and hurricanes vs. serene sunsets and playful polar bears). Speakers include former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking, and progressive CEO Ray Anderson, hero of The Corporation. Granted, there's no obvious youth appeal in these subjects, but the presence of the Titanic heartthrob-turned-Scorsese star, who keeps his on-screen narration to a tasteful minimum, plus atmospheric tracks from Sigur R√?¬≥s, Coldplay and Mogwai seems likely to attract a younger crowd. And that seems to be the point, since The 11th Hour is, at heart, a call to arms. It begins by taking a look at the causes of global warming before exploring solutions, from eating organic to building with solar power. There isn't a ton of new information for environmental experts, but DiCaprio and his team have assembled a thought-provoking primer for neophytes and potential activists.
 
 
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