Book review: Easy Eco Auditing by Donnachadh McCarthy

23 April 2008

The indefatigable eco-campaigner Donnachadh McCarthy has just released his second book Easy Eco Auditing.

As its title says, it is a guide to making your lifestyle greener by “auditing” your home, leisure and work environments to reduce your carbon emissions, with a little of Donnachadh's fascinating journey from Irish National Ballet Dancer who had “not paid any attention to what was happening in the environment around me”, to ardent ecology advocate. Almost by accident he travelled to the Amazon rainforest in 1992 and visited the Yanomami Indians – here he had a damascene conversion: he resolved to return to the UK and do what he could to “stop Britain's consumerist lifestyle being so destructive to the planet and our fellow human beings.”

Easy Eco Auditing examines many aspects of our lifestyle, from the point of view of the reader as eco-auditor. It shows how beneficial changes can be made for both individuals, and wider society. Some of the transformations are small, such as putting bottles of water in the cistern to reduce the water your toilet wastes, or walking and cycling more, to much larger and more expensive projects such as generating your own electricity from Ground Source Heat Pumps.

All of Donnachadh's information is backed up by references. It is couched in prose that is intended make it easier for uncommitted to take small steps towards a lower-emission lifestyle. He makes a persuasive case that gradual change is easier to accept psychologically than a “drastic break” with the way of living someone has become accustomed to.

There has been a mini-boom in ‘greening your lifestyle' books recently. Some are more accurate and practical than others. Donnachadh invariably practices what he preaches: this book is one of the best and most-accessible on the subject. It is also suitable for friends and family who might aspire to greener living without wanting to forego the major comforts we expect these days.

He often quotes Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Published by Gaia Books Ltd
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781856752930
£7.99

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