Greeniology: How to live well, be green and make a difference

An all-encompassing guide to greening the everyday aspects of life

Greeniology by Tanya Ha

Product details

Product name: Greeniology: How to live well, be green and make a difference

Reviewer: Jenny Blackford

Author: Tanya Ha

Publisher: Melbourne University Press

Price: $32.95

Buy Online: NECO

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Even if you are so clued-up about green living that you already wash your organic-fabric clothes in a five-star-rated front-loader using cold water and phosphate-free detergent, you should still find useful tips in the new edition of Greeniology: a simple, useful guide to greener living — for everyone.

It's stuffed with practical ideas to help each of us make a difference — while still living well. It's certainly not all about composting toilets and home-made tofu; the author even recommends plush but ecologically sound brands of cosmetics and skincare.

And, because it's an Australian book, all of the advice is relevant to our local conditions.

As author Tanya Ha says, there's been a "quiet cultural shift" since the first edition of Greeniology appeared in 2003. More environmental options are on offer, and there's a higher emphasis on sustainability throughout society.

This second edition includes information on the improved products and choices that are now available, plus a new chapter on greener travel and recreation, more about health, and information for New Zealanders.

Greeniology starts with a chapter summarising the ecological problems that we face today, such as acid rain and species extinction. Each topic comes with a 'What you can do' list, usually referencing later chapters. The remainder of the book works in detail through various areas of life — kitchen, bathroom, laundry, office, garage and so on — recommending a multitude of green possibilities.

'The Green Bathroom' chapter, for example, is not limited to the standard water-saving advice (water-efficient shower heads, etc.), but comprises 14 information-packed pages of green advice about all aspects of bathroom usage.

Ha does not simply recommend solar hot water; instead, she provides detailed information about what your home should ideally have prior to installation, including a sturdy roof. Her suggestions for recycling greywater are similarly detailed, with warnings about bacteria and chemical content and tips to reduce any health risks.

Some of Ha's simpler suggestions will save money almost effortlessly; in the bathroom chapter, for example, she suggests opening the window, rather than using an exhaust fan (when it is warm enough, of course).

Many tips are both easy and cost-neutral (e.g. using recycled toilet paper). A few require a little effort, but will save money and energy in the long run, such as insulating external hot-water pipes.

A must-have for the green at heart.

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