Read, reduce, recycle
August 18, 2008 · Updated 4:53 PM
Brooklyn-based author Lori Bongiorno brings her practical guide to making eco-smart choices in everyday life to Bainbridge Aug. 21.
Over the past decade it seems the country has gone mad for going green.
It’s almost as if thinking about how what we do in our everyday life will affect the planet has become a fad and putting those thoughts into action has become fashion.
“Green is the new black,” they say.
One can only hope that it’s much bigger than that. The Earth and keeping it green, and essentially keeping our species alive on this planet, are much more pressing issues than any popular trend. Which makes one wonder, where was all this “thinking green” back in the era of the industrial revolution? But that was then and this is now, green supporters say, and we’ve got to collectively do everything in our power to make things better.
The list is long and it will likely only be accomplished through unity.
That’s why it is encouraging to see a local community business like Eagle Harbor Books dedicate its time to provide programs and reading material on all things green — like buying locally and living sustainably.
They began on Earth Day this year with a series called “Think Green Bainbridge” and it continues.
This week, the bookstore is bringing in Brooklyn, N.Y.-based author Lori Bongiorno with a practical green guide for the masses called “Green, Greener, Greenest” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Keep in mind that a topic like this is so inherently global that it’s not just the people of Bainbridge who are being asked to “think green,” it’s all of us.
Last week, Bellingham author Clyde Ford came to talk about his book “Boat Green,” a boaters’ guide to marine ecology.
Bongiorno’s “Green, Greener, Greenest” is the book that the author — a mother and working journalist — wishes she would’ve had when she first got the inkling to go green about a decade ago.
In the introduction, Bongiorno, an established reporter for six years at Business Week, explains how her focus switched from business to health journalism after her husband died following a two-year battle with melanoma.
“It became bracingly clear to me how much better it is to prevent disease than to have to deal with it,” she writes.
For some reason, that line stuck with me most of all 286 pages in the practical guide. It’s a profound and simple thought and it seems like a metaphor, in a way, for the Green Movement of today attempting to deal with disease created by humanity.
“It’s easy being greener,” Bongiorno opens her book.
But sometimes its hard to know where to start, which is the place where the author found herself at the beginning of her quest. Shocked and often left somewhat paralyzed by horrific accounts in the media of things like mercury levels and pesticides and climate change, Bongiorno wondered where she could even begin on the radical, self-sacrificing change that seemed necessary.
Luckily for herself and her family, she began freelancing for a publication called The Green Guide which opened the door to hours and hours of research on health. In that research which ultimately led to this book, she found three major insights: 1) That her own personal health and the health of the planet are inextricably linked, 2) small changes can make a difference, especially when it’s a large number of people making said changes and 3) “There isn’t one ‘right’ way to make a difference.”
“Green, Greener, Greenest” should provide the grounds to get anyone started.
Spanning chapter topics from everyday life — “Food” to “Personal Health Care,” “Home Building and Improvement” to “Apparel and Furniture” “Backyard and Garden” to “Transportation” — Bongiorno lists lifestyle tips at the end of each section in easy-intermediate-advanced categories for the “green,” the “greener” and the “greenest.”
And fittingly, the text is rendered in green-hued ink.