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The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices
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by Michael Brower and Warren Leon (Three Rivers Press, 1999)

The key word in this book, as is clearly indicated on the cover, is effective. In a sea of books about making everyday choices that benefit the environment, almost none gives a scientifically grounded, realistic depiction of how much any one of those choices actually matters in the grand scheme of environmental protection and restoration. Whatï¿œs worseï¿œpaper or plastic?

Or is it really crucial to forego both and remember a canvas bag each time you go to the store? If you eat meat every day but take the bus to work, are you doing better or worse than a vegetarian who drives solo?

According to the authors, ᅵnot all consumption has an equal impact on the environment. For that reason, a 10 percent across-the-board reduction in Americansᅵ consumption would not be the most effective way to reduce environmental damage.ᅵ Using priority lists, graphs, and tables, the guide offers comprehensive, consumer-level advice for assessing the impacts of our consumption patterns. Thereᅵs a lot of myth busting and eye opening, and although the book is somewhat dated, many of the points remain relevant in that they are different from what we normally hear.

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