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The green bookshelf: Wake up and smell the planet!

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Wake Up and Smell the Planet! is definitely NOT your average how-to book. Edited by Brangien Davis and Katharine Wroth of Grist.org, this pocket guide takes aspiring Greenies through a basic day of sustainable living, from the time you get up in the morning until bedtime, demonstrating just how many opportunities there are in an average day to make eco-friendly choices. Many of the tips are tried and true, such as carpooling and using non-disposable coffee cups but others are definitely offbeat and sure to grab reader attention. For example, did you know some parents are choosing to skip the cloth vs. disposal diaper argument altogether and let their kids roam commando? According to the Davis and Wroth, "Infants give recognizable signs of imminent peeing and pooping; it’s possible to learn your infant’s signs.” The reader just has to wonder what these “signs” are and what busy parent has time to stare at their baby all day looking for them.

Wake Up and Smell the Planet! bills itself as “The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Guide to Greening Your Day”. It lives up to its claim, packing a lot of information into its 175 pages: tips, tricks, trivia, and extra factoids appear in sidebars on nearly every page. In "Commut-icable diseases", the section on transportation, the editors address whether it's better to idle your engine or turn it off, why 55 mph is considered an ideal speed limit, the benefits of car-sharing services, and a "Pandora's Box of Horrific facts about cars" as they go over the basics of how it helps the planet if you drive less. There is absolutely no time for the reader to get bored, The chatty, irreverent style of the book makes it (unlike so many other advice books) a pleasure to read. Wake Up and Smell the Planet! is an excellent guide for anyone who wants to start living Green!

For extra credit, check out the book's parent website at www.grist.org!

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