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Going green? Hit the books

Local libraries provide info on how to be eco-friendly

December 31, 2010
By JOHANNA BOYLE Journal Ishpeming Bureau

ISHPEMING - Thanks to the power of search engines, the Internet can provide countless tips and advice for people wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, but it's not the only resource.

Local libraries are another place to turn for green resources, whether you want to reduce the number of chemicals you use, the amount of meat you eat or try growing your own food. So when you're tired of the computer, turn it off and take a walk over to check out the books.

The Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library has several books in its nonfiction collection that would be good starting places for anyone hoping to lessen their impact on the environment.

Article Photos

Those looking to go green can always turn to the Internet for tips and advice. But don’t forget about the local library, which has books on everything from green housecleaning to vegetarian cookbooks. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)

In "Easy Green Living: the Ultimate Guide to Simple, eco-friendly choices for you and your home," author Renee Loux breaks the typical home down into areas such as the kitchen, the bathroom or the living room with ways to go green.

"Being green is contagious," Loux writes. "It starts with one thing then blossoms and grows into a life-changing sense-opening natural reflex."

Among her tips are making the best, most environmentally-friendly choice you can when you can, starting small and focusing on green living as a process, not an immediate switch.

Throughout the book Loux offers checklists, information about how habits impact the environment and how to read labels - what exactly does an "organic" label mean. The book also contains recipes for making homemade green cleaning products and lists of commercially-available green products.

In a similar approach, Deirdre Imus writes "The Essential Green You" more from the standpoint of how being environmentally-friendly has beneficial impacts on health. Instead of addressing the home, Imus splits her chapters into sections on diet, cosmetics, fashion, even medications.

For Imus, going green not only benefits the environment, but also reduces the number of toxins and chemicals people are exposed to on a daily basis.

Of course, books that help you live a greener lifestyle don't have to have the word "green" plastered on the cover.

The Ishpeming library's gardening and cooking sections can also help you reduce your impact.

Even if you don't have much yard space, a collection of houseplants can help improve your indoor air quality. Julie Bawden-Davis' "Indoor Gardening the Organic Way" teaches about everything from flowers to some food-bearing plants. And if you just want to learn about gardening to grow your own food, any of the gardening books can put you on the right track.

Another section to check is the library's collection of cookbooks. Most lists of ways to lessen your impact on the environment include becoming vegetarian or just eating less meat each week. Looking through a vegetarian or vegan cookbook can give you ideas of meatless meals that are just as satisfying and tasty as meals that include meat, making it easier and more fun to cut out meat one or two days a week.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is



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