An Earth Day Book Giveaway at Our Little House

Tomorrow is Earth Day and Jodi Helmer, author of “The Green Year,” is back with an insightful interview and to give away one of her books.

She also shares two tips with us that weren’t included in the book.

I’ve featured “The Green Year” here before. I’ve had the book since it was published in 2008 and still routinely look through it to get more tips on small things we can do at Our Little House.

Enjoy the interview and make sure to leave a comment at the end of this post by noon CST, on Monday April 25 to register to win a copy of the book. You also need to leave your email address so I may contact you if you win. I will also announce the winner on Tuesday’s post.

Happy Earth Day!

The Green Year still seems to be the one book I go to when I’m looking for ideas to help the environment more. While most books have limited shelf life, this one seems to be truly evergreen (pun intended). Did you realize this when the book was released?

Jodi:  I’m glad the book has been so useful!

While I was researching and writing The Green Year, I hoped it would be an evergreen book – something readers could pick up at any time and find simple ideas to make their lives more environmentally-friendly; like all authors, I wanted the book to have an unlimited shelf life. The Green Year continues to sell well so I believe it has been a go-to resource since it was first published in 2008.
The environmental news hasn’t been good this past year with the spill in the Gulf and Japan’s nuclear disaster. Sometimes, it really just seems hopeless. What one piece of advice would you give our Living Large community about doing their part?

Jodi: It’s easy to feel powerless, especially in the face of such significant threats to our environment.

The Green Year is based on the premise that small actions do add up. Recycling is a great example. It’s not going to change the world if one person in the Living Large community takes that step but if all of the members take action and encourage their friends and families to do the same, the cumulative effects are huge. It’s like the shampoo commercial from the 1980s: she’ll tell a friend and she’ll tell a friend and so on and so on.

The best advice I can offer is to make a commitment to lessen your environmental impact and then spread the word about the importance of making small changes; others will catch on and together we can make a difference. Sounds cliché but it’s true.

You have a lot of great tips in the book. Have you found any new tips since the book came out that you can share?
Jodi: Great question! I come across new ideas all the time and think, “I wish I’d known about that when I was writing The Green Year; I would have included it in the book!”

Here are two that weren’t included in The Green Year:

Consider raising backyard chickens: Most of the eggs on supermarket shelves come from factory farms, which contribute to a host of environmental issues. Most municipalities allow residents to keep chickens (though you should definitely check local ordinances first). You’ll have organic, local eggs at your doorstep. As an added bonus: Chickens will eat pests like grubs and their manure makes great fertlizer!

Organize a walk-to-school group: Skip the carpool lane and start a walking club for the neighborhood school kids instead. Parents can take turns walking the troupe of kids to school each morning, cutting down on the pollution from passenger vehicles (which create almost a third of the air pollution in the United States) while the kids get some early morning fresh air. If you live too far from school to walk, start a community carpool; it’ll cut down on pollution and reduce the number of cars idling in the school drop-off zone.

Are you planning a Green Year II?

Jodi: There are no plans for a Green Year II. I do have an idea percolating for another green book but I’m not ready to share the details yet 😉

Thank you, Jodi! Living Large community, what small change do you plan on implementing in honor of Earth Day 2011?

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26 Responses

  1. SABLE says:

    I recently got some new baby chicks as some of my girls were getting pretty old. I do love the fresh eggs. I try to recycle as much as possible and that includes shopping at thrift shops. I recently planted some brown and green varities of cotton as part of my personal fiber production to go along with the Angora goats and sheep. Making a batch of soap is on the to-do list before the weather gets too warm.

    I’m always looking for ideas to be more environmentaly friendly. I just wish I had more time to grow a veggie garden and I’m still thinking about having a smaller home with off-grid resources, maybe someday.

    Kerri, thanks for your blog.

    • kerri says:

      HI, Sable! I wish I could have chickens here and fresh, fresh eggs! Thanks for all you do for the environment!

  2. Merr says:

    I have been doing a lot of shedding (is that what it is called) and realizing how simple, once all the “stuff” is removed, to find ways to green things. Maybe it’s because there is less bogging down my mind which lets me open up to new ways of doing things.

    • kerri says:

      It is great how all of that works out, isn’t it! Thanks for visiting and entering, Merr.

  3. Haley says:

    This sounds like a GREAT book! I would love to win a copy. I just can’t seem to get enough information on “Green Living”, frugal choices and the simple life.

  4. Kurt says:

    Very cool and inspirational information.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Start small with one or two goals to make things a little “greener” in your home. Add more as you feel comfortable, and soon it will become a lifestyle change. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I would LOVE< LOVE< LOVE to have chickens, but keeping them safe from predators here would be a real challenge.

  7. domestic diva says:

    This sounds great. I’d love to read it.

  8. Terri says:

    I would love to win a copy of The Green Year.

    My dream is to downsize and live in a tiny house.

  9. If we all undertook small actions to go greener, just think what an impact that would have. I like the “walk your children to school” tip. Goodness knows they don’t get enough outdoor time as it is.

  10. I’m a big fan of chickens, so love the backyard chicken idea. And, even though there have been some devastating environmental events in the past year, I agree with Jodi, it’s really all of the small things that everybody can do themselves that make the difference in the end. Our move to the country last year, forced some changes on us whether we wanted them or not. With soaring gas prices, we have to consolidate our errands to minimize trips to town. Our septic system doesn’t handle garbage disposal waste, so we compost instead and use it on our garden. And- the house came with a clothes line, which I hadn’t used since I was a little girl, helping my mother hang out laundry. I remembered how wonderful sheets and towels smelled after drying in the fresh air and sunshine, so I’m using the clothesline instead of the dryer on my sheets and towels. No perfumed fabric softener can match that fresh scent! Go green, America- great post, Kerri!

  11. Kelly says:

    What a wonderful, needed resource!

  12. Kerry says:

    good to know the book is as sustainable as the idea of a green year around practice.

  13. kerri says:

    It’s an excellent book, Brian! So many great little ideas. Thanks for entering.

  14. Brian says:

    I appreciate the desire for a book that isn’t automatically updated every year. Sounds like a great resource.