50 ways to help the planet
(Siân Berry, Kyle Books, 2018)

An oft asked question from people who become concerned about environmental degradation and climate change is, “What can we do?”

The recent publication by author Siân Berry is one of a number of offerings to set out a range of practical answers to that question. In this instance we have an author who herself brings considerable knowledge and experience on the area of sustainability with her background in green politics in and around London.

5 of the 6 chapters identify and expand upon personal and group actions which will enable us to reduce, reuse and recycle: plastics, energy, travel, cooking and eating, gardening. Berry’s supporting text with each recommended behaviour serves to broaden the information underpinning that issue: why is the present situation problematic in the environment? and how will the recommended new behaviour improve the situation? For example, we all use hot water in cooking. Yet, when do major cities experience peak power usage, thereby requiring maximum draw upon our power stations? In most cases this occurs when the population prepares to dine. This little book presents us here with a range of alternatives to reduce that energy demand. Just one example: “Boil water for cooking in the kettle …… Kettles are more efficient.”

The final chapter, “Action”, focusses more upon our social involvement than upon our home lives. For many of us within the church, this is the essence of our care for God’s creation, our witness of Christ to neighbour through love of people and nature. The book concludes with a range of reliable sources of further information and support. Obviously, these are specifically directed at the UK readership. A number of websites do however give insight to similar organisations and resources available in Australia.

This is a compact yet comprehensive and current text well recommended for church libraries.

50 ways cover image.jfif
reviewed by
Robin Bodycomb
Environmental Action Group