April 2, 2008

Staff Picks: Go Green, Live Rich

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:35 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

David Bach--author of the popular Finish Rich series of personal finance books and the man who coined the term Latte Factor--has penned a new book entitled Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying. It is a quick and interesting read, filled with a sense of purpose as well as easy steps that one can take to become a smarter consumer and live a greener lifestyle.
There is a widely held view out there that greening your lifestyle is an expensive and painful process. Bach deftly explodes this myth in 192 (recycled) pages. Early on in the book he revisits the Latte Factor concept, but tweaks it a bit and suggests we find our "Litter Factor."
I have long encouraged my readers to identify their Latte Factor and eliminate it to start saving money. But small changes such as not buying coffee in a disposable cup or water in a plastic bottle not only are good for your wallet, but they actually better the planet. In the same way that "little things" add up to drain your wealth, "small changes" add up to make a big difference for the Earth.
Consider this: Every year, Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee. Of those, 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper cups, enough to wrap the Earth 55 times if placed end to end! Plus, those paper cups contain a plastic lining made from a petro-chemical that would produce enough energy to heat 8,300 homes a year.

He goes on to briefly discuss bottled water, referencing what I think was the best article published last year--Charles Fishman's Message in a Bottle. This is just a snippet of the first chapter, but it contains advice that, if taken, can lead to serious change... and save you money to boot. The rest of the book has equally clear and concise thinking and advice that ranges from how to save money by becoming energy smart, to shopping green, to going green at work. The steps to going green and energy-efficiency aren't necessarily going to be completely new to people, but Bach revealing how taking them is ultimately cost-efficient probably will be.
You'll be hearing much more from Bach on this issue. His first stop will be on the Today Show next Monday discussing seven green steps that can save you 3,000 dollars a year. The book itself will be hitting the shelves on Tuesday of next week, and I think you could consider it's $14.95 list price as an investment in the future of your finances, and maybe, even the future of planet as well.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.