The truth is, I am not living as sustainable as I thought.

The new e-book Sustainability Starts at Home written by Dawn Gifford of Small Footprint Family promises to save us money in our homes and on what we buy with planet friendly tips and tricks … and it delivers with hundreds of recommendations that I thought were incredibly well organized, clear and valuable!  I have just moved into a new home in Portland and will be implementing much of what I read about! Dawn’s e-book is one of 30 offered at a 90% discount as part of Village Green Networks’s End of Summer E-Book Bundle on promotion until September 10 midnight PTD.


This is some of what we learn in her book:

  • We can save up to $200 a year simply by lowering your thermostat from 70 degrees to 67 during the winter.
  • If your shower head blasts more than 3 gallons per minute, switch it out for a low-flow one. Most low-flow shower heads feel just as nice as the high-flow ones. Since you’ll also save energy due to less hot water use, you’ll shave about $80 per year off your utility bills. You can save even more if your shower takes less than 6 minutes!
  • LED bulbs have many advantages over both incandescents and compact fluorescents:  they use very, very little energy, last at least 10 years, •contain no mercury vapor,  are tough and can be dropped or turned off and on repeatedly without damage, •can operate in very cold or warm temperatures. LED bulb prices will definitely give you a little sticker shock. However, at a lifetime cost of $86, compared to $352 per bulb for a standard incandescent, LEDs can clearly pay for themselves, and save you thousands of dollars in your home over time. And, just like with CFLs, the price is coming down quickly, and the efficiency and quality are improving at the same time.
  • Saving energy is so important that Federal and State Governments have created tax credits of up to $1,500 as well as other incentives for purchasing Energy Star appliances. Energy Star even has a rebate locator.

Uncertain Times Call for Bold Action

The author explains in her Introduction:

Today, it is uncertain if our society has the capacity to endure—at least in a way that the nine billion people expected on Earth by 2050 will all be able to achieve a basic quality of life.

The planet’s ecosystems are deteriorating and the climate is destabilizing fast. We are consuming so much, so quickly, that we are eating into our planetary capital, collectively consuming the renewable resources of 1.5 planets! Yikes!

Meanwhile, our globalized world is more interconnected and volatile than ever, making us all more vulnerable.

Everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear is dripping in fossil fuels and other extracted, finite resources from different parts of the world. We are no longer able to easily extract oil and gas, except at grave cost to our atmosphere, fresh water supplies, and climate. We are rapidly running out of phosphate and potash, which will make industrial agriculture impossible.

We are running out of fresh water.

We think nothing of polluting our fresh air and water, and destroying good topsoil and vast tracts of forest on single-use throw-away items like plastic water bottles, paper towels and disposable diapers.

The accumulation of “stuff” is in fact the foundation of our economy—and the foundation of our destruction.

A society that truly values their grandchildren would not do such crazy things!

I am convinced!

This description may paint a picture of doom and gloom for some but, I experienced Dawn’s book as full of hope and inspiration! I am personally quite inspired to increase my commitment to sustainable practices as a result of what I’ve read! For example, I have decided to change to a nonprofit credit union! I learned that “credit unions have the smallest environmental footprint of all types of banks because they exist only for their members and are supported only by their members. As opposed to large, national banks, you can be sure that the money you put in a credit union is not going to be invested in corporations that pollute the air and water, remove mountaintops for mining, make genetically-engineered seeds, tear down the rainforest, maintain concentrated livestock feeding operations, contaminate your water with fracking, or anything else destructive that you might not want to financially support.” I am convinced and will make this change!

See preview pages from her book, that include the table of contents.

On top of everything else, we are provided with a number of recipes for green cleaning, laundry detergent, and non-fluoride toothpaste … and even taught how to unclog a drain without toxic chemicals.

Again, Sustainability Starts at Home is offered at 90% discount as part of Village Green Networks’s End of Summer E-Book Bundle on promotion until September 10 midnight PTD. I liked this book so much that I would purchase it as a hard copy reference book if it was available!