This book is about more than reducing the carbon foot-print of your home, it is tailor made for creating a good neighborhood by giving busy neighbors distanced by suburban sprawl or urban anonymnity a really fun and rewarding focal point for coming together.
There are twenty-two specific things that one can do in their home or in relation to their local school or community (most have to do with the home).
I see a real opportunity for a third party developer at Amazon to create a niche business–what I really need as a busy professional is a single Amazon URL where I can go and select all of the low-cost products needed to implement this book’s recommendations (e.g. the water-saver showerhead with the instant off-on lever), have them charged to my Amazon account, and delivered to my front door.
I’d also like to see a way for people to register their homes the way we register Wildlife Habitats–completing this check-list should allow registry of the home and count toward the appraisal value.
I recommend the book be bought in lots of 10, used to bring together the other 9 houses nearest you, and then passed on down the neighborhood.
The resource section at the end is helpful, and I was especially struck by the disaster resilience recommendations. I know a lot of otherwise mainstream folks that are starting to sign up for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Red Cross courses on disaster relief, earning the green hard-hat and body covering. Something is happening at the grass roots level–a combination of innate fear that the federal and state governments will fail us as they did with Katrina, and a more constructive sense of responsibility, with more people realizing that resilience starts at the local level with specific individuals planning and preparing so as to prevent local disasters from becoming catastrophes.
For related reading on the psychology of what prevents people from preparing and reacting, see my review of “Catastrophe & Culture: The Anthropology of Disaster.” Disasters do NOT have to become catastrophes, we make them so through denial before, during, and after.
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