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Go Green: How to Build an Earth-Friendly Community    by Nancy H Taylor order for
Go Green
by Nancy H Taylor
Order:  USA  Can
Gibbs Smith, 2008 (2008)

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* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

In the introduction to her book Go Green: How to Build an Earth-Friendly Community, author Nancy H. Taylor asks, 'What are we willing to change? There must be a middle ground between denial of the global warming crisis and deprivation.' Taylor's book focuses on community action, without minimizing the importance of individual, state and federal efforts at sustainability. At the end of most chapters are Action Points community members can use in planning.

Discussions on reducing carbon footprint and utilizing forms of alternative energy make up the majority of Go Green. Communities are encouraged to make use of solar panels, wind power, photovoltaic systems, and alternative transportation such as light rail and electric hybrid vehicles. The author has much to say about home design and construction as well, from materials to processes. First, she encourages you to consider remodeling over building new. Then she explains the use and financial benefits of passive solar systems, alternative natural materials such as cob, rammed earth, and straw bales, and use of Energy Star appliances in new homes.

Taylor encourages LEED certification requirements for community buildings, including hospitals and schools. One intriguing fact: that patients recovering in green hospitals recover faster, have shorter hospital stays, and are happier with their treatment. When schools make use of day lighting and air exchange systems, students remain healthy. Did you know student test scores of green schools are 20% higher over non-green? And, absenteeism due to illness is lower? That matters when school budgets are founded on performance and attendance. This brings up another point: going green is economically viable.

Go Green: How to Build an Earth-Friendly Community is an excellent resource for proactive community members looking to guide their towns to a sustainable economy and future. From participating in community supported agriculture to installing living, green roofs for minimizing rainwater runoff - and everything you can think of in between - this book lays out a workable, pragmatic approach to a truly sustainable community.

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