In "Shift Your Habit," writer Elizabeth Rogers explains how you can make small, affordable choices in your everyday life that will have a big impact on the planet.
Rogers says these choices will not only save you money and improve your lifestyle.
Read an excerpt from the book below, and then head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.
INTRODUCTIONThe true heart and soul of living green is efficiency.
Shift Your Habit highlights the personal value that comes from living mindfully. Shifting toward a more environmentally conscious lifestyle will not only help the planet but also save you money and time, and even improve your quality of life.
Given the fiscal roller coaster we've experienced over the past few years, many of us are probably more concerned with saving money than with saving the planet. But why does it have to be either/or? Why not do both simultaneously? It turns out that the two can easily go hand in hand.
In my own experience, I've noticed that becoming greener has made my life richer and healthier and, paradoxically, less expensive. This was a revelation. Like most people, I thought going green would put a serious strain on my finances. But I found, in reality, there's no need to compromise ecological principles in order to save cash. And, perhaps surprisingly, you don't need to give up comfort, convenience, or style in order to tread more lightly on the earth.
When I wrote The Green Book a few years ago, I decided to focus on the scale of positive change that was possible if each person were to make a few simple lifestyle changes. Seeing how much we are capable of when we're all in it together has motivated a lot of people to think differently about their own impacts.
Now I'd like to look at these shifts from a different vantage point, and show you how they not only help the planet but also add up for you and your family as well.
Shift Your Habit is a comprehensive guide to performing everyday tasks in a smarter way. I want to spread the word that those who can benefit most from going green are people like me— people with tight budgets and busy schedules, people who want to sacrifice nothing when it comes to the health and well- being of their families.
Yet despite the glut of green books and TV programs, no one seems to be speaking directly to these concerns, or in a language that resonates with mainstream America.
Shift Your Habit is for . . .
• The mom shopping at a discount store who mistakenly thinks that making environmentally responsible purchases necessarily means spending more
• The college student who, despite working two part- time jobs and belonging to his school's green coalition, thinks he can't afford to practice what he preaches
• The retired couple who live efficiently without even thinking about it— and want to continue to subsist responsibly on a fixed income
• The small-business owner who wants to cut costs and go green but doesn't know where to start • The passionate cook who can no longer afford the ingredients he craves and wants to be able to get them locally or from his own backyard
• The single parent who is busy working and keeping the household together but still wants nothing but the best for her children
Shift Your Habit is for you.
Each entry in this book explains a seemingly small change in behavior that, over time, will make a huge difference for your family and our planet. The hundreds of simple shifts contained in this book will streamline your life and leave you with up to $50,000 or more that you thought you'd never see again. Crazy, right? I'm not preaching that you should make every shift in this book. You can pick and choose only those that fit your lifestyle, and you'll still see a huge benefit.
Regardless of your income, you probably strive to be healthy and make the most of what little time you spend not working. The lifestyle modifications in this book are virtually painless— and they will help you live better, save money, and save time. In many cases, saving the planet is an ancillary benefit— the organic, sustainable cherry on top of some sound lessons in home economics.
As a single mother living on a budget, I spend a lot of time thinking about the meaning of value. Dollars, like fossil fuels, are not a renewable resource— so I'm always looking for ways to make them go further. I also care about sustainability. I want my nine- year- old son, Emmett, to understand that even in our disposable society everything has a life cycle and that his actions have consequences. I want Emmett to have a sense of his own power— to know that his actions can help heal the planet rather than harm it.
The hundreds of shifts I propose in this book are small, but they add up. Big- time. The key to sustaining any lifestyle change is to start simple. Begin with habits that are manageable, rather than comprehensive and overwhelming. Once you achieve a consistent stream of small victories, you'll know you're moving in the right direction, and you'll be motivated to continue your progress.
Take, for example, committing to cut back on water waste. Your family is probably letting thousands of gallons of water trickle unnecessarily down the drain, but there's no need to issue an ultimatum for two- minute showers. Instead, install low- flow showerheads for just a few dollars each. They're constructed to deliver equivalent water pressure using less water, so your family won't even notice the change. You'll be saving up to $380—and 36,000 gallons of hot water— per year. And that's nothing! Wait until you hear about the shifts that could cut your food bill in half.
You can read this book cover to cover, or just flip through to the sections that you are most interested in. If you're looking for an answer to a specific question, consult the index. If you're in search of inspiration and camaraderie, check out the Swift Shifts— real- life stories from people like you who committed to implementing the shifts you'll see throughout the book and reported back about the experience.
Even if you don't think of yourself as a "green" person, you can still use this guide to streamline your life, get healthier, and save real money in the process. Before you know it, you'll be biking to work, cleaning with natural solutions, and composting from your edible garden. Don't worry—none of your friends will be able to pinpoint what's different about your life. They'll simply want to be just like you. Moderation may not be rocket science, but it is revolutionary.