From a former climate change reporter for the New York Times comes a book to empower readers to make informed choices and improve their environmental footprint.
As we move toward a more digital society, we might imagine that using less paper or buying fewer DVDs is better for the environment. But many people underestimate the impact our new habits have on the environment of our internet-connected planet. Whether it's a microwave with WiFi, a movie streaming service, or online shopping, these technological advances have created new impacts that even the people who are well-versed in these issues have not fully considered.
In Inconspicuous Consumption, Tatiana Schlossberg reveals the complicated, confounding and often unexpected ways that we all participate in a greenhouse gas-intensive economy and society, and how some of the most consequential areas of unintended emissions and environmental impacts are part of our daily activities. Looking at the Internet, food, fashion, and fuel, Schlossberg examines how all of us are connected: how streaming a movie in New York might create pollution in Ohio; how affordable cashmere sweaters change the Mongolian landscape; how eating a hamburger in California could affect shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico; how England's electricity came to depend on trees from the American south. By showing us how we're in this together and explaining a little more about how our everyday lives affect the environment, Schlossberg empowers people to make better-informed choices for a changing planet.
Tatiana Schlossberg is a former reporter covering climate change and the environment for the science section of the New York Times. She previously wrote the popular morning column New York Today and covered New York City and beyond for the Metro section.
"Inconspicuous Consumption is scary informative – in both senses – but also oddly enjoyable, filled with salty jokes and fun (or not so fun) facts [...] If you're looking for something to cling to in what often feels like a hopeless conversation, Schlossberg's darkly humorous, knowledge-is-power, eyes-wide-open approach may be just the thing."
"A compelling – and illuminating – look at how our daily habits impact the environment [...] [Schlossberg's] wry, sometimes self-deprecating humor makes the depth of research and information provided throughout the book go down easy."
"[A] straightforward, accessible look at the environmental impact of consumer habits [...] With insight and urgency, Schlossberg prods readers to think more deeply [...] [and] delivers an intriguing and educational narrative."
– Publishers Weekly
"An approachable, lighthearted tally of our more pernicious environmental impacts, rich with historical context. For all its aversion to the reductionist notion of an ecofriendly lifestyle in the twenty-first century, this book delivers on actionable data for the ecoconscious consumer and climate activist."
– Kim Cobb, professor, earth and atmospheric sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
"Entertaining and eye-opening [...] the sharp, well written book doesn't read like an admonishment; instead it's a call to action that reminds us all of our responsibility and capability to change the world."
– Town & Country
"Focusing on food, fashion, technology and fuel, she shows how even the smallest decisions can have profound environmental consequences."
– New York Times
"How many chances do we get each day to make a meaningful difference for Earth? Plenty, says environmental writer Tatiana Schlossberg. Can we eradicate ecodespair? With knowledge, context, and applicable insight, yes, absolutely. Moreover, as thoughtful citizens we can begin to reverse ecodystopia to utopia. Inconspicuous Consumption is smart, funny, and helpful, and this is everything because our Earth deserves our full attention."
– Min Jin Lee, author of Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko, finalist for the National Book Award
"Readers will find solace, humor and a route to feeling empowered with possibilities for positive change, rather than drained by an accumulation of bad news."
– Society of Environmental Journalists' Judges for the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award
"Schlossberg adeptly guides readers toward understanding the unlikely implications of how the manufacture of everyday acquisitions [...] exact environmental and human costs. Beyond individual choices, though, Schlossberg's sophisticated understanding of the world's complexity and her conversational style rally readers to vigilance about corporate and governmental oversight in this small world."
– The National Book Review
"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."
"The author breaks complex issues down to be understandable to the lay reader, while her humor and wit ensure that readers will close the book feeling energized rather than hopeless."
– Booklist (starred review)
"The subject of climate change is inescapable, as it should be, but too few stories focus on one's everyday impact upon the environment. In Inconspicuous Consumption, former New York Times science writer Tatiana Schlossberg breaks down exactly how everyday activities – watching Netflix, eating a burger, turning on the light – impact the environment."
"To solve the climate crisis, it is crucial that we address the problems in the way our democracy is functioning. In her illuminating book, Inconspicuous Consumption, Tatiana Schlossberg does just that by exploring how individuals, corporations, and governments are all contributing to this crisis, and how we need to work together to help fix it."
– Former Vice President Al Gore
"With this call for mass action [Schlossberg] presents valuable information that could help readers make more sustainable choices in their lives."
– Library Journal