Anna Clark is a mom of two preschoolers and president of EarthPeople, a global consulting firm helping clients with profitable green strategies. She began by asking herself the question, "Can one person really make a difference?" Today, she has an international base of clients implementing her ideas to improve the environment while making money in the "eco" economy.
And for Anna, going green starts at home, where she's drastically cut her family's utility bills; reduced grocery waste while eating healthier; discovered natural, non-toxic cleaning options; and found unexpected joy in activities as simple as helping her children plant trees and care for a garden. Anna's discovered that anyone can make a difference in caring for Creation, while saving money and keeping their family healthy--and she can't wait to show you how. Join her at savemoregreen.net to help lead the change.
Q: What made you write this book?
In 2005 I had my first child. To say it was life-changing would be an understatement. I began to feel an overwhelming responsibility toward my child. When I had my daughter, Jordan, I decided to revisit my faith, which I hadn’t paid attention to for about fifteen years. I read the Bible for the first time. I also joined a discussion group for sustainable living. My whole life I’ve had an affinity for animals, and I was saddened that habitat loss through overconsumption was causing mass extinction. One day, I woke up to the fact that change must begin with me. I suddenly felt a conviction that I wanted to contribute to the kind of world I wanted to bring kids into.
I started by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Then I launched a green business and we built a green home. I found myself having fun with it because I was saving money, eating healthier, meeting interesting people, learning, speaking, and writing. As sustainability converged with my faith journey, I became amazed by how intertwined simpler living is with spiritual fulfillment, sharing with those less fortunate, and caring for God’s creation. Green, as I began to see it, was nothing more than the Golden Rule.
Q: What is Green, American Style about?
Green, American Style is about saving money, getting healthy, and protecting our future. And I believe women can especially benefit from its message, since we are particularly influential as keepers of the community and mothers of the next generation. Inside my book, you’ll see how environmental issues have been politicized—but the green movement is not about politics. It’s about survival. Never before has our country faced such critical issues as globalization, energy insecurity, water shortages, habitat loss, and health epidemics ranging from asthma to infertility. From an ecological standpoint, these issues are all connected.
Although these issues leave many of us feeling helpless, we have more power than we think we do. Each one of us can make a difference as consumers, parents, and citizens. We Americans can reap tremendous opportunities and wellbeing through earth-friendly living and through spreading these values in our backyards, communities, churches, and places of business. My book shows why sustainability really is the best way to preserve the American way of life in the 21st century.
Q: What do you hope moms will get out of reading your book?
I want readers to get over viewing green as being difficult or a threat to their lifestyle. My book is full of practical wisdom anyone can benefit from. I got into green to make a better world. What I’m getting out of it is a better life. Today I enjoy the feeling of making a difference through small acts like turning off the lights, growing my own tomatoes, and eating delicious organic foods. I love living in my earth-friendly home and finding new ways to conserve energy and money. I also continue to find inspiration in nature—not just for my writing, but also as a path to spiritual renewal.
At the most basic level, you can look at it this way: Green living helps you get healthy and protect your family’s future while saving a good chunk of the family budget. In fact, the advice I suggest in my book can save an average family over $7,000 a year! Who can’t get excited about that?
Clark states in her book, "Most people think a green home is one with solar panels on the roof and a water cistern in the back yard. These and other features can be good investments for long-term home owners and a demonstrable display of environmental responsibility. However, the biggest difference any of us can make lies in conserving resources such as energy and water. Seen by few and felt by many, energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors are the easiest way to give clean air back to your community while putting money in your pocket." (p.107)
In part two Clark, shares 85 Ways to save the Planet (and Money). Clark claims, "The average family can save over $3,000 through simple behavioral changes and using all 85 ways over $7,000." (p. 107) Out of these 85 ways she lists 50 of them as easy ways to save money and make a difference with 25 of those 50 being simple green practices you can use (9) at home, (4) in the store, (7) on the go, (5) at the table. The remaining 25 break down as follows: (3) conserve gasoline, (5) using energy- and money-saving appliances, (2) green your banking, (12) water saving tips(3) reduce, reuse and recycle tips.
You'll find 10 ways to green your grocery shopping (chapter 6) and 25 ways to green your home (chapter 9).
The author shares 7 criteria to determine a product's green potential. Even the clothing industry is becoming eco-conscious with eco-fashion products that are natural, organic and chemical free. The author leaves the reader with 8 Eco-Chic wardrobe tips. You'll find 3 green computer and electronic tips to keep in mind on you next electronic shopping spree. Clark also shares a buyer's guide to toxin-free living; leaving the reader with 12 red-flag hazardous ingredients commonly found in personal-care products. The author offers fun and easy tips to help make the most of greener living, and labels too look for on products and those to avoid. Clark also gives three simple plans for greening your home- ways to save your money, health and planet. She moves from green remodeling ideas to green living. The last two chapters the author delves into ways to help you find your voice. Clark supplies the reader with all kinds of resources (lots of web sites to check out). There is even a chapter with green games to get your kids involved. There are also discussion questions provided for each chapter so the book can be used in a group setting. So what are you waiting for? Grab a book and put Green to work. Read further and find out how you can win a copy of Clark's book Green, American Style.
Drawing will be held on May 1st.
Want a bonus try. I'm giving away a copy at my other site too.
Head over to Lighter Side here.