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  • A review of 'Women Pioneers for the Environment' by Mary Jo Breton

    In 1993, Emma Must, irate over the British Department of Transport's plans to plow through yet another grassy hillside for yet another highway extension, chained herself by the neck to the axle of a bulldozer for five hours. Her bold antics and those of a band of like-minded peaceful protestors stalled construction of the highway for six months, but ultimately their campaign failed. Out of the ashes of Must's effort, however, rose a tide of public anger that swelled Britain's anti-road movement and forced the DOT to dramatically scale back its building plans and reassess transportation policy throughout the country. For Must's leadership in the anti-road movement, she earned a Goldman Environmental Prize in 1995, the environmental community's equivalent of the Nobel.

  • Advice on how to cope with aging appliances

    Before you buy, consider: Do you need a new product at all? Increasingly, consumers opt to toss belongings out before their useful lives are truly over. Rapidly changing technology is one reason for this trend — we want new products with new features. But often items are discarded because they are difficult to fix when […]

  • A review of 'Use Less Stuff' by Robert Lilienfeld and William Rathje

    Robert Lilienfeld and William Rathje have compiled a resolutely accessible guide to curbing consumption in Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are. The authors founded Use Less Stuff Day, celebrated since 1994 on the Thursday preceding Thanksgiving, in an attempt to convince consumers to change their wasteful ways, and this book is a how-to manual for implementing the principles of the holiday.

  • A review of 'The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices'

    Michael Brower and Warren Leon aim to distinguish their book, The Consumer Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists, from other laundry-list-like enviro books by telling readers which purchasing and lifestyle choices pack the greatest environmental punch. In contrast to volumes that bombard readers with 50, 100, or 1001 steps that they can take to spare the earth, Brower and Leon lay out 11 "priority actions," urging Americans to give careful consideration to, for example, the cars they drive, the appliances in their homes, and the amount of meat in their diets. At the same time, the authors tell readers to stop fretting over relatively minor issues such as the occasional disposable cup tossed in the trash and the paper-versus-plastic quandary.