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Book Reviews

Saving the World One Step at a TimeSaving the World One Step at a Time by Mike Cook

50 simple Things You Can Do To Save the Earth is a great book with many insightful ways of protecting the environment. There are four basic chapters that get readers thinking about what an individual can do to save resources and avoid pollution. It is important for people to look at these books to further their information on how to clean up some of the excess waste that accumulates over time.

The first chapter discusses pollution and how it is affecting the Earth. Humans are using up many resources, making it catastrophic for the Earth. These resources are being depleted, which causes the balance of nature to slope in a way that cannot be reversed. The main components of the first chapter include; the greenhouse effect, air pollution, hazardous waste, and ideas for saving energy and water.

The next section of the book lists simple ways to clean up one's act.   Some examples included in this chapter are stopping junk mail, using reusable bags, and recycling motor oil.   If individuals could just do these simple tasks, the world would be much healthier. A lot of the Earth's pollution comes from what has been listed. Now are some tips on what is needed to get rid of this waste.

Junk mail is a serious problem that has to be dealt with: "Americans receive almost 4 million tons of junk mail every year." That is outrageous to my ears. That is a great amount of paper that can be used for more important uses. 50 Simple Things also mentions, "...about 44% of that junk mail doesn't even get opened." Stopping junk mail may be one of the smartest ideas someone could come up with because the book says, "If 100,000 families stopped junk mail, up to 150,000 trees could be saved every year."

The next section of the book goes into a little more detail about making people put more effort into saving the environment. Some topics involved in this section include recycling newspapers, recycling glass, and planting a tree. All of these topics don't mean much to the average person, but if even one of these topics could be handled by each individual, it would greatly benefit the Earth.

"Americans use 80 million tons of paper annually." If individuals can recycle these used papers, it would create a break of the trees that are cut down every day. By doing so, there would be more trees, less pollution, and a better outcome for the planet. Recycling glass is also important. The book states, "Glass produced from recycled glass instead of raw material reduces air pollution by 20%, and water pollution by 40%." Also, not recycling glass can litter the Earth for many years.

The last section of the book talks about spreading the word "recycle" and staying involved. It is important that these useful tips on saving the Earth are put into motion. If not, the world we all live in will become depleted of resources and will no longer be useful to humans. The culture of mankind needs to be altered in a way that gets people to think more eco friendly and to protect the only Earth we have to live on; otherwise, a natural catastrophe might not get us, but our own mess will.


  • The Earth Works Group, 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth. Berkeley: Earthworks Press, 1989.
  • American Paper Institute, 260 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. Fascinating pamphlets on recycling paper.
  • Glass Packaging Institute, 1801 K St. Suite 1105-L, Washington, D.C. 20006. Free pamphlets on glass recycling.