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THE GOODS : ECONOTES : Now It'll Be Easier to Be Green

July 22, 1994|CONNIE KOENENN

Want to make your house green without painting it?

"Eco-Renovation," a new handbook from Chelsea Green Publishing Co., details roof-to-basement green options from such small touches as built-in recycling bins to changes as sweeping as inside-and-out insulation.

"The essence of ecological thinking is to learn as much as possible from nature," says author Edward Harland, a British architect and builder who specializes in ecological renovation.

His book shows how to reduce heating and utility bills, select building materials that are resource efficient and environmentally safe, maximize existing living space and protect the family from toxic substances.

Each chapter offers a "Priorities for Action" guide. The final chapter includes a checklist for assessing your home, references for products and services, and a bibliography.

Although Chelsea Green, in White River Junction, Vt., has published a number of books on building environmental houses, including the use of solar energy, and a new book on straw-bale houses, this is the publisher's first retrofit book, Managing Editor Jim Schley says.

"Most people can't build a new house," he says. "They are living in a structure that's going to stay there. So renovation is important."

Just Too Much: The Environmental Media Assn. brought in heavy-hitter speakers for its recent breakfast/press briefing on "Population and Consumption." More than 200 industry writers, producers and executives heard sober statistics on the world population explosion from Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth and bad news on the environmental effect of America's consumption from Alan Durning, executive director of Northwest Environmental Watch. "It really boiled down to six words," EMA President Andy Goodman said. "Too many people. Too much stuff."

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