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Green Living

See also: Green Homes and Environment

Green living is living in a manner that is friendly to the earth; in other words, with a small carbon footprint and without pesticides, herbicides, artificial fertilizers and toxic chemicals. It also means eating local and minimally processed foods and recycling almost everything.


Selected Books

Ashton, Karen
The Toxic Consumer: Living Healthy in a Hazardous World
RA1226.A84 2008
This small volume describes in clear language the many synthetic chemicals found in everyday products and environments, discussing the risks, recommending alternatives, and surveying the history of chemical legislation (or lack thereof) in the US and elsewhere.
Baird, Lori
Don't Throw It Out
TX303.B345 2007x
A Rodale book emphasizing the 3 R's of Green Living: Recycle, Renew, and Reuse.
Friedman, Thomas L.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America
GE197.F75 2008bx
In case you aren't convinced about the critical state of the earth's environment, read this bestseller from Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat.
Green Guide: the complete reference for consuming wisely
GE195.G73 2008
The editors of National Geographic's The Green Guide magazine cover topics such as: eating, housekeeping, power, design, health care, clothing and accessories, products for children, transportation, building, gardening, pet care, and school and office supplies.
Heath, Oliver
Urban Eco Chic: How to Live in an Eco-Friendly Way Without Compromising on Style
NK2113.H43 2008
Heath, an interior designer from the UK, details incorporating eco-friendly design into homes that are still stylish. He describes how to use low-energy technology, sustainable materials for walls, fabrics, lighting, floors, and surfaces, and recycled and recyclable products such as vintage furniture.
Imus, Deirdre
Green This! Volume one, Greening your cleaning
TX324.I48 2007
How to live without ammonia and bleach and still stay clean.
Jeffery, Yvonne
Green Living for Dummies
GE195.7.J44 2008x
When there are books for dummies and idiots, you know Green Living has gone mainstream.
Loux, Renée
Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home
TX324.L68 2008
A Rodale book that helps you buy and use the right products.
Powers, William
Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin off the Grid and Beyond the American Dream
GF78.P68 2010
Powers seeks to attain "self-mastery" by experiencing the life of "wildcrafter" Dr. Jackie Benton, a physician who lives a sustainable life "off the grid" in a 12'x12' dwelling in rural North Carolina.
Ryan, Eric and Adam Lowry
Squeaky Green: the Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home.
RA770.5.R933 2008x
Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan founded Method, the environmentally friendly, naturally-derived, and biodegradable products such as household cleaners, supplies, laundry care, and soaps.
Sandbeck, Ellen
Green Barbarians: How to Live Bravely on Your Home Planet
TX301.S27 2010
The author of "Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles" and "Eat More Dirt" gives tips and tricks for fellow green barbarians.
Seymour, John
Forgotten Household Crafts
TX15.S49 2007
If you really want to see how easy you have it these days, read this British book on chores that used to be done in house, like making lye and soup, boiling linen, milking, making butter and cheese...
Sobesky, Janet
Natural Style: Decorating with an Earth-Friendly Point of View
q NK2113.S63 2008x
Comfortable, informal, easy-care, earth-friendly, and by all means pleasing to the eye, Natural Style is inspired by the colors, textures, and motifs of nature.
Vartan, Starre
The Eco Chick Guide to Life: How to be Fabulously Green
TD171.7.V37 2008
Starre Vartan, the creator of the Eco-Chick Blog, offers young women hundreds of ideas on how to be ecologically smart and still be stylish and trend-setting.
White, Betz
Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed and Organic Materials: Plus Tips and Resources for Earth-Friendly Stitching
TT550.W54 2009
White’s whimsical yet practical designs include an apron constructed from men’s dress shirts (and a wallet from the shirts’ cuffs!), a soft blanket pieced from secondhand cashmere sweaters, and even a tote bag refashioned from used Tyvek envelopes. Along the way, White dispenses tips on everything from how to deconstruct old garments for reuse in new creations to how to wrap gifts with resusable fabric scraps instead of paper.
Yarrow, Joanna
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: 365 simple ways to save energy, resources, and money
TD171.7.Y373 2008
This Chronicle book has advice for every day of the year.


Simple Steps to a Greener Home
(DVD) TH4860.S56 2008x
Environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo calls his eco-friendly way of living Simply Green. Offers smart and stylish ideas for turning your home into an Earth-friendly oasis proving that green living can be gorgeous living too.

Web Sites

  • Daily Danny
    In this blog, environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo shows how to take everyday items and transform them into something new.
  • Environmental Working Group: Bottled Water Quality
    Not only does bottled water use up a lot of resources in packaging and transportation, it also doesn't deliver pure water. The EWG recommends using filtered tap water instead.
  • The Green Guide
    This website by the National Geographic Society offers Buying guides and a section on Homes. You can also check how well you do on the Greendex.
  • Green Home Guide
    GreenHomeGuide, from the U.S. Green Building Council, "believes we can improve the environment and make our homes safe, comfortable and rejuvenating at the same time. By choosing green alternatives to conventional building, cleaning, pest control and landscaping, we discover that we can have more, not less."
  • Green Maven
    Search the green web with this Google Custon Search engine.
  • Green Plumbers USA
    GreenPlumbers began in Australia in 2000, as a result of their ongoing severe drought. Their curriculum trains plumbers in sustainable water practices.
  • Little House in the Suburbs
    I ran across this blog while reading the Mother Earth News newsletter. Lots of advice with a dose of humor about living sustainably in the suburbs.
  • Mother Earth News
    "The Original Guide to Living Wisely" offers Do It Yourself, Renewable energy, Green Homes, green transportation, sustainable farming, real food and more. Also see Grit Magazine for rural folks.
  • Mother Nature Network
    Green Living news covering Earth Matters, Health, Lifestyle, Green Tech, Eco-Biz & Money, Your Home, Family, State Reports
  • Nature Conservancy: Carbon Footprint Calculator
    Their carbon footprint calculator estimates how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your choices create each year.
  • New Colonist
    "for the citizen of the new century"
    An online publication and meeting place for colonizers of "our once-neglected cities, which are being remade into rich and vibrant communities by old residents and new who have rediscovered the possibilities offered by urban neighborhoods." Look here for information on alternative methods of transportation.
  • Project Laundry List
    Project Laundry List advocates the air-drying of laundry, and works to make it acceptable and desirable as a simple and effective way to save energy. Their principles include: "All citizens nation-wide should have the legal right to hang out their laundry", and "Frugality, or thrift, needs to be a universally practiced virtue".
  • Sierra Club: Sustainable Consumption
    Resources for sustainable eating, living and consumption.

Pittsburgh Region

    Buy your food locally and unprocessed to avoid food additives and transportation costs.
    Don't drive to work alone! CommuteInfo can help you form a carpool.
  • East End Food Co-Op
    For a real green living experience, join the East End Food Co-Op!
  • The Green Building Alliance
    Works to foster "green" building in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area
  • Mayor’s Green Guide
    Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has created this first Green Guide "to help you find the information you need to reduce your impact on the environment, save money and improve your health. This guide includes information on the services provided by the City, as well as resources for getting involved in your community."
  • Sustainable Pittsburgh
    Sustainable Pittsburgh, a non-partisan, civic forum, advocates the integration of economic growth, environmental health, and social equity as the foundation for high quality of life and long-term prosperity of southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • Tree Pittsburgh
    Instead of turning on the air conditioner in the summer, plant a shade tree. Formerly Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest.


  • Grid
    The online version of a Philadelphia sustainability magazine.