We were contacted by Self-Counsel Press and asked if we would review some or all of the books in their new Green Series. We are always interested in finding good books that we can refer people to, so we agreed to review them if they sent us copies of the books and a set of books that we could give away to our readers.
I have had the pleasure of reviewing their book “Greening Your Home – Successful Eco-Renovation Strategies” by Thomas Teuwen & Laura L Parker. At 117 pages this book is very accessible to busy moms and dads. It has 9 sections, with subsections and an on-line kit to support it. I appreciate the easy style in which it is written with straightforward language that is not full of jargon or technical terms. While this book is about renovations, it is aimed at the homeowner so they can make intelligent choices.
Another point I look for when reviewing scientific or technical writing is how do they site their sources. You may note that on our blog, when Jon and I state facts, especially when they may be disputed, we always link to where we got the facts. This book footnotes facts directly on the page where it is used, and when they get their facts from a website, they put in the date that they accessed the website. This is an excellent practice that I hope more writers will follow.
Now you may be wondering, what about their facts? If this book is giving advice, is it any good? While I am not an expert in all parts of renovating a house, I am knowledgable about some of the topics they cover. The following quote from the section on Green Materials embodies a lot of my shared opinion with the book:
In making these choices it helps to remember that there are no ultimate truths or simple answers. In the end, it’s important to investigate where your lumber comes from and how it’s harvested. Remember that no matter what your choice, each inquiry about the source of building materials and the environmental cost of its manufacture or harvesting, raises the awareness of sustainability in the supply chain.”
We agree that while they, and we, can give you guidance in making green choices, what is most important is that you make deliberate, educated choices and that you ask questions and share your opinions. Whether you are renovating your home or buying meat at the deli counter, asking about sources and sustainability is sometimes the greatest change you can make.