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Easy being green: Books to help you live a simpler life

Credit: Wind River Tiny Homes

Change can be hard. Yet even the smallest effort can yield dramatic results, as seen in this trio of books designed to help you move towards a greener, cleaner life. Begin by learning to reduce your footprint and repurpose rather than buy new. Then, if you're feeling really ambitious, you could try your hand at small-scale homesteading. But whether your changes are dramatic or incremental, know that every step toward a more thoughtful future counts.

Waste Not Everyday

Make the move toward a zero-waste lifestyle by taking it one step at a time. In Erin Rhoads' compact, softcover 240-page book, Waste Not Everyday (Hardie Grant, $19.99), she outlines simple, manageable steps anyone can take toward reducing their impact on the planet. The four-part guide features 365 tips on how to make better use of your existing resources and how to avoid buying things you don't need. There are recipes and action items such as making your own wrapping paper and glue to tips on learning how to set your own pace and not get overwhelmed by the task at hand. Rather than preach, the book is a friendly, forgiving guide to living a life filled with more mindfulness and fewer excesses.

The Foraged Home

While some interior books focus on polished perfection, The Foraged Home (Thames & Hudson, $40) highlights the art of the discarded and overlooked. From beachcombing and salvaging to restoring and repurposing, photographer Joanna Maclennan and writer Oliver Maclennan lay out a simple, elegant case for creating environmentally thoughtful design using found objects. The 256-page hardcover book, which is illustrated with 300 color photographs, features exquisite homes from all over the world, including coastal retreats in New England, woodsy homes in France, and lushly chaotic urban spaces in England. Divided into coastal, rural, wild, and urban spaces, the book covers the topic of recycling with a fresh and delightfully quirky eye.

How to Build Your Own Tiny House

If you've every dreamed of chucking it all to live off the grid, author Roger Marshall can show you how with his book How to Build Your Own Tiny House (Taunton, $18.99). The comprehensive 218-page softcover book covers all things tiny — meaning, up to 1000 square feet — including plumbing, electrical work, framing, plans, and finishing touches. There are plenty of full-color pictures, and a section about how to determine if tiny living is right for you. This book is designed for people with foundational construction skills, but even if you don't know which side of the hammer to use, this is the perfect guide for people who want to create a smaller carbon footprint and dream of a more edited existence.


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