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The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have

by Tatiana Schlossberg

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5387-4708-7
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

An environmental journalist pens an informative, practical guide to understanding and acting on climate change.

To many, the climate change crisis often seems so overwhelming and intimidating that they try to avoid thinking about it altogether. As former New York Times reporter Schlossberg relates, before becoming informed, “I didn’t like reading about climate change and its effects—it filled me with dread and made me feel powerless. The problems seemed too big and too inevitable for me to do anything about, so it felt like it was probably best to look away.” But as she demonstrates in her debut book, climate change is not just a remote problem about California wildfires and superhurricanes that is only relevant to scientists and legislators. “There are trade-offs and consequences for almost everything we buy and use and eat,” she writes; our personal choices and daily activities have a direct impact on the planet’s overall health and future. Breaking the narrative into four categories—Technology and the Internet, Food, Fashion, and Fuel—Schlossberg follows and connects the dots between our habits and the far-reaching consequences they may have. Although the thrust of the book is climate change, this is more a volume about cause and effect that tackles a broad scope of topics. Whether visiting a Connecticut apple orchard to flesh out the current definition of “organic food,” exploring microplastic pollution caused by sweat-wicking microfiber athletic wear, or weighing the environmental advantages of e-commerce versus traditional retail shopping, Schlossberg brings a variety of current conversations on environment together in down-to-earth, easily understood terms. Avoiding dense technical language and writing in a highly personalized style laced with humor and asides, the author provides much-needed clarifications about climate change and pollution that not only empower average consumers with the ability to act and make informed decisions, but also encourage and inspire that action.

If fighting climate change can be engaging, fun, and fulfilling, this is the road map.