Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ModernGear Books: Change The World For Ten Bucks

Just when you think you're overwhelmed with all the negative news and scary headlines coming at you, something comes along that plants a seed of hope.

For me, that tiny seed was a new book, called Change The World For Ten Bucks.

I often get bogged down with worry about the state of the environment, the country, the city, my neighbourhood, my bank account. This book arrived at a time when I was questioning what I could do to improve things, and how one person could make a difference (even though I do know one can).

A community-based organization called We Are What We Do started up in London in 2004 (read all about them here), and this wonderful book of theirs has been inspiring efforts large and small, ever since.

Think about some of the suggestions they make for how small actions x lots of people = big change. Some I am aware of, and practice, like Action 31, "Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth", and Action 34, "Buy fair-trade products".

But others were things I was not doing, but will. Action 12, for instance, is "Unplug appliances when not in use." Why is this important? They tell you why:
"A TV that's plugged in is still using half the electricity of a TV that's turned on.
Most appliances - VCRs, DVD players, televisions, stereos, computers, and kitchen appliances - use power even when they are switched off."

Action 42 is "Recycle your specs". That is something I have always meant to do but yet here I am packing to move into another house, and what have I found but an extra 4 pairs of glasses I haven't worn in a long, long time. Why have I hung on to those?

When we move into the new house, I am going to use Action 45, which is: "Give your phone number to five people on your street". They have handy-dandy pull-out tabs on which you can write your name and number, with the message, "Please call if I can help." How amazing would it be if people reached out to each other like that?

Change The World For Ten Bucks sells for $10, natch, at Chronicle Books. It's also $8 at Amazon through this link: Change the World for Ten Bucks: small actions x lots of people = big change
- is it weird to save $2 on a product from a nonprofit organization?

Whatever you pay, I have a feeling that this book will be as inspirational and warm-fuzzy-giving to you as it has been to me. Happy reading, and doing.

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