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Book 3 of 52: The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference

I read The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference(Pub date Dec. 2) by Jodi Helmer because I interviewed her about "green" holidays and one very green lady for an article I'm writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer. I started flipping through the book about a half hour before the interview, and finished it later that night.

It's an easy read, which is a good thing for this kind of book. I write quite a bit about green topics, and I run into a lot of people who think that it would cost way too much money and time to switch over to a green lifestyle.

That's why Jodi's book is a perfect way to get into a greener life, or give your own green ways a tune up. It's 365 ways to be more planet friendly and, yes, you can do just about every one in one day. That's also why it was a quick read -- it's one item per page, and they don't walways fill the page.

Now, when I started in, I figured I was a green smarty pants and had already done at least 75 percent of the things she suggests on the book.

FAIL.

I started putting stickies on all those that I wanted to do and ended up filling who knows how many pages -- at least three colors of my sticky pack, though I will say that I checked off a few dozen as "done."

Some suggestions are those that I keep MEANING to do, like insulating my water heater (January 4) and switch to cloth dinner napkins (March 2). Others are bigger steps I would like to take plan a vegetable garden (April 28) and buy houseplants (May 17) -- they may seem easy, but not for those if us born sans the green thumb. I even learned about www.greensingles.com. How cool!

But this did remind me that I do a lot even if I'm not perfect. I took PATCO to Rutgers-Camden where I teach instead of driving. I probably would have saved money driving, but not time, pollution and aggration. I shopped the Collingswood Farmer's Market whenever I could so that I was eating local fresh produce and supporting local farmers (last weekend of the season is this year. Sniff, sniff). As I wrote for an upcoming issue of Edible Jersey magazine, I don't have to take out the trash every week because of how much I compost. I'm going to probably get rid of my garbage disposal becauses I just don't use it, and the extra storage space under the sink would be nice.

So do I recommend this book? Of course I do -- a great holiday gift for the greenie or future-greenie in your life. Or for yourself, of course.

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