The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices by Michael Brower & Warren Leon

Many readers of TreeHugger have asked for direct actions they can take to reduce their environmental impact. In the early 90s there was a plethora of books addressing such interest. The seminal 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth prime among them. Although now out of print, it can be obtained second-hand. A decade after that guide came out, the Union of Concerned Scientists released their own take. The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices, was in their words, "the first comprehensive look at the full range of modern consumer activities, identifying those that cause the most environmental damage and those that cause the least." It ruffled many feathers because it advocated focusing on the bigger issues and not fussing over debates such as paper or plastic bags and cloth or disposable nappies/diapers. And while some of their data might not be fresh out of the lab, the outcomes do remain much the same. So what is some of this non-small stuff, that the UCS would rather we sweat over? Choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive and buying a low- or zero-emission vehicle, if you must have one. Walking and cycling more and eating less meat and dairy while selecting organic produce also rate highly. The reasoning behind why these and other such actions were deemed crucial is lucidly explained in the book.

Buy The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists, by Michael Brower and Warren Leon