Wednesday, 25 May 2011

How Bad Are Bananas Mike Berners-Lee - Review

Published 2010 by Profile Books

This book is not so much about how to cut your carbon footprint, but attempts in a chatty and informal way to provide a way through the morass of information and misinformation on the subject. It takes many familiar issues - using dishwashers, food miles, flying and so on, analyses why they might present a problem and evaluates how big a problem this might be.

In other words, it gives a context for all your good intentions, exposes some myths (for instance, that cotton is always preferable to man-made fabrics, or that bananas are a problem), and enables you to set priorities and make sensible choices, instead of operating, as we mostly seem to do, on a mash-up of taboos and political correctness, for example, agonising over whether organic vegetables from Kenya are better than local conventional ones.

It also exposes the assumptions behind some popular assertions - that a dishwasher is more eco-friendly than handwashing (not in my house it isn't!) which enables you to check your own practice against the recommendations you get from elsewhere. All in all, a useful and interesting read.


Pomona said...

I have that book - I have found it really useful in making ethical decisions. And I was very relieved to find that bananas are OK!

Pomona x

Floss said...

Thanks for this review - it sounds like the book will answer a lot of our family's questions! It's on my Amazon wishlist now...

And I would be interested in doing the Greenchain interview too, please. Thank you!