Book Summaries

Go Green, Save Green

Go Green, Save Green divulges hundreds of practical, easy-to-implement steps that you can take to create substantial money savings while protecting the earth. Nancy Sleeth and her family have been living an eco-friendly lifestyle for years saving both time and money. Sleeth also demonstrates how going green helps people live more God-centered lives by becoming better stewards of financial and natural resources. Chapter titles include: (1) Home; (2) Lawn and Garden; (3) Work; (4) Transportation; (5) Food; (6) Sabbath; (7) Holidays; (8) Entertainment; (9) School; (10) Church; (11) Nature; and (12) Community.

Features:

  • Hundreds of simple, easy-to-implement money-saving tips for going green at home and at the office.
  • Simple cost-saving formulas that allow readers to calculate their energy/financial savings as they go green.
  • Helpful “try this instead of that” charts offering money-saving green solutions for everyday living.
  • Inspirational Scripture and quotes from church leaders (both historical and current) that support the biblically mandated stewardship component of going green
  • Quote: “The basic principles of nutrition and health are a lot like the principles behind green living: Just as we need to be good stewards of the physical body God gave us, we need to take care of the physical planet that sustains all life. Both require some measure of discipline. Both result in major improvements when small changes are made over a period of time. And both bring joy—to us and our Creator.” (p. 3)
  • Quote: “Loving our neighbors? Americans make up 5 percent of the world’s population but use 26 percent of its energy.” (p. 8)
  • Quote: “Dear heavenly Father, Creator, and Sustainer, give me the knowledge and will to honor you by using resources wisely in my home. Help me to preserve rather than to destroy; teach me to conserve rather than waste. Remind me that everything I possess is on loan from you. Help me to create a God-centered home that I share freely with others. Strengthen my desire to become a better steward of your abundant blessings.” (p. 56).
  • Summary: Sleeth writes here of numerous ways to live “green,” from noting water conservation and energy usage, to targeting “energy hogs” such as home heating and cooling. She advises that every home start with an honest appraisal of current energy consumption, and work from there to minimize—for the sake of the planet, for the family, and for the Lord, most of all. The chapter is full of energy usage suggestions for the home including energy-saving light bulbs, insulated windows and curtains, the refrigerator, dish washing, and a variety of other practical tips
  • Quote: “It’s easy to look around us and point a finger at neighbors using chemicals on their lawns, or agribusiness that’s generically modifying seeds. Jesus tells us not to worry about the speck of sawdust in our neighbor’s eye. First, w should work on removing the plank blocking our own vision. We are all part of the problem… None of us is doing such a great job protecting this big, beautiful garden called earth. We’re consuming it.” (p. 68)
  • Quote: “The Bible begins and ends with a tree of life. But the most wonderful reference occurs when Jesus spreads out His big, strong, calloused carpenter’s hands—hands that had worked with wood all His life—and died on a cross made from a tree to save us. So when someone speaks disparagingly about tree huggers, I think about Jesus, my Lord and Savior, hugging the cross. Call me a tree hugger: I like the company.” (p. 68)
  • Quote: “Lord, help me this year to: harvest my rainwater and use it for watering my lawn and garden…mulch leaves instead of sending them off to the landfill…provide food for my family by raising a garden…avoid the use of pesticides…garden with perennials instead of annuals…site trees and shrubs where they will provide shade, act as a wind barrier, and reduce energy costs.” (p. 88)
  • Summary: Sleeth writes about their family adventures in gardening and creation-love, giving many practical tips on gardening and landscaping. Growing a personal crop of indigenous fruit and vegetables, composting, and planting and protecting trees are a few strong suggestions. It’s a really beautiful (and incredibly practical) chapter about honoring the Creator’s masterpiece that we call home.
  • Quote: “The key to success was working with the system—and forming a green team—to make the workplace a healthier, more environmentally responsible, and more cost-effective place to learn and work.” (p. 93)
  • Quote: “Here’s a startling statistic: one-third of the tap water used for drinking in North America is used for brewing coffee.” (p. 105)
  • Quote: “Dear heavenly Father, help me today to honor you in my work and to exercise wisdom and discernment when using the resources you put into my care. Fill my heart with gratitude for your daily provisions and help me take personal action to become a better steward at my workplace. Teach me to become a servant leader of environmental stewardship through the way I live and work. Give me courage and perseverance as I learn to care for your creation. Strengthen my desire to make you Lord over every area of my life.” (p. 118)
  • Summary: Sleeth shares about her efforts to reduce the ecological footprint of her employment—only after they had done the same in their own home. She emphasizes that the little things do make a huge impact overall—from office supplies, computer energy consumptions, paper and ink usage, coffee, commute, and wardrobe.
  • Quote: “One of the ways you can cut back on transportation costs is to pay attention to the things that are within walking or biking distance of your home—the convenience store, video shop, school, soccer field, playground. Make it a point to walk to these places at least once a week.” (p. 126)
  • Quote: “Lord, help me this month to: make sure my tires are properly inflated, use public transportation at least once a week, ask for re-refined motor oil when I have my car’s oil changed, research state and national parks near my house, investigate the possibility of a four-day workweek, set up a RideShare board at work to help others carpool.” (p. 154)
  • Quote: “Heavenly Father, Provider and Creator, thank you for blessing me with resources to get where I need to go. As I drive, walk, or ride my bicycle, make me aware of your glorious creation. Teach me not to seek solace in costly diversions, but in your presence alone. Increase my desire to travel in your Word, to walk in your Spirit, and to live in gratitude.” (p. 153)
  • Summary: Sleeth shares about the family’s efforts to “save gas, save money, save lives” through careful use of transportation. She chimes in on everything from distance of vacation destinations to the everyday transportation to and from work and errands: biking, carpooling, being mindful of time spent traveling and time actually spent together as a family.
  • Quote: “ Sharing a good meal with those you love not only nourishes the body but also feeds the soul.” (159)
  • Quote: “The real root of hunger is poverty and inequality, not food production.” p 167
  • Summary: This chapter was all about how to save money on food. Nancy emphasizes buying local and in bulk. Also, that we should be mindful of little ways we can reduce energy costs cooking at home.
  • Quote: “We need to be still in order to know God; shifting our focus from productivity to rest, success to service, from material gain to spiritual good, from the god of money to the God of love will have a lasting impact throughout our weeks.” (191)
  • Quote: “One of the great blessings of Sabbath time is fellowship and conversation.” (206)
  • Summary: Chapter 6 focuses on the importance of the Sabbath. Nancy emphasizes the importance of taking a rest from the busyness of culture by resting one day and putting all other work aside.
  • Quote: “Holiday celebrations are one way of expressing Christ’s love and giving thanks for his blessings.” p 222
  • Quote: “Though the transition from exchanging piles of presents to giving fewer gifts with greater meaning may not be easy at first, it will speak a powerful message about who you are- and whose you are.” p 222
  • Summary: The key to this chapter is simplicity and having a low impact on the environment. For every holiday there are ways to simplify things and reduce how much is being spent.
  • Quote: “The less garbage you allow into your head and your heart – the more peace you will have in your soul.” p 263
  • Quote: “As our standards for acceptable media should differ from the world’s, so can our entertainment habits.” p 264
  • Summary: In this chapter Nancy encourages readers to look for alternative sources of entertainment and to cut out the amount of time spent on TV. She also emphasizes simplicity in entertainment and suggests finding activities to do outside or even just fun board games.
  • Quote: “Learning begins long before a child ever sets foot in school, in the biggest classroom of all—the wide realm of creation. During the transition from backyards to backpacks, we need to continue to foster a love for nature and a desire to become good stewards.” (p.303)
  • Quote: “Successful environmental education is not aimed just at students. Everyone from parents to school administrators to custodians to community members should be involved.” (p.326)
  • Summary: Nancy Sleeth shares about her experiences in the classroom and how to incorporate environmental projects into everyday life as well as classroom lessons. Sleeth teaches and encourages parents to become stewards of God’s creation by “going green” in their child’s everyday school routine.
  • Quote: “The changes we make at church show the outside world that we honor the Lord not only in what we say but also in what we do.” (p.337)
  • Quote: “With God’s love and direction, churches can help lead the way by making decisions that put God’s ministry at the top of the list. In doing so, we are fulfilling part of God’s command to go out into the world.” (p.339)
  • Summary: In chapter 10, Sleeth really encourages the church as a whole to be stewards of God’s creation. God gave us the earth to enjoy but also to take care of. What better place to start being more conservative in energy and more earth friendly things than the church? Simple things just like changing light bulbs, purchasing more organic coffee for fellowship, or even carpooling to church help cut costs.
  • Quote: “Jesus talks more about serving the poor than he does about family values, being born again, and quiet time all put together. Yet most of our lives, including mine, don’t reflect these scriptural priorities. Jesus wants us to stop living in isolated silos and go beyond our comfort zone.”(p. 380)
  • Quote: “Why should I give thanks rather than gripe? The answer is simple: people who give thanks are happier. Yes, letting off steam may make me feel a little better- temporarily. But God is in the eternity business.”(p.388)
  • Summary: Chapter 11 focuses on community and how we can make a difference even in our own neighborhood. Jesus called us to love our neighbors which most of the time is in our comfort zone; however, he also called us to love our enemies and to step outside our comfort zone. Jesus may call you to simply have your neighbor over for dinner, or he may call you to your local homeless shelter, which seems a little further outside what most people are comfortable with. Things such as these are helping impact our world and our environment!

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