Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ecological Intelligence by Prof. Daniel Goleman

Ecological Intelligence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Want to learn how some sunscreens have chemicals that turn to carcinogens when exposed to the sun? Want to learn how your buying habits affect you, the environment and the rest of the world? Read, or listen to, this book. 

This book or audio book is a great learning tool for anyone that wants to learn about the products we buy. The purpose of "Ecological Intelligence" is to educate the reader (or listener, in my case) about the things we use, are exposed to, buy and consume every day. Daniel Goleman educates us about the impact of the things we buy on our bodies and on the environment. He then proceeds to explain the impact that the companies we buy from have on the environment and how and why we need to hold them at a higher standard. Goleman goes further than global warming, he tackles the actual products we use and their impact from the moment they are made until they are disposed of (or thrown in a landfill).

To be honest, I was largely depressed through the entirety of this audio book. It is disheartening to hear about all negative effects our actions have on the environment, and I already knew them! This book just made it all more clear and real. I felt even more depressed after he explains "green washing" or how we are misguided by companies into thinking their products are "green". Which, again, I knew. But, he explains what the effects of this practice is, such as driving us away from the products that are actually green. Also, recycling is not enough, and he explains why. Every day I would listen to this, the message that we are not doing enough would be drilled into my head. Indeed, recycling is not enough in proportion to the things we buy and do. We need to change our buying habits to have an effect on the companies we buy from.

Goleman does give us a glimmer of hope as he explains all the initiatives he has encountered that seek to help the environment, or at least not affect it as much. From canvas bags to less packaging to water use, he explains it all. This is a very good book or audio book where you learn not only how negatively you affect the environment, but you learn how you can help.

The only part that made me a little doubtful was the entire part about Wal-mart's initiates to be more environmentally friendly. They were not as believable...I just can't see Wal-mart doing as much about the environment in other areas of the world, when in some of their own U.S. stores they don't even recycle plastic bags or double bag a box of Kleenex.

This book gives you great insight into how you and your buying habits affect the environment. I highly recommend it for anyone that wants, or should be, more conscientious about the environment and the effects of the products we buy and consume in our bodies.

Daniel Goleman is the reader of the book and he does it at a great pace and good enunciation. It may drone on at time, but it is largely well spoken. 8 CDs long. 

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