How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Christian? How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Christian?
A Pocket Guide to Shrinking Your Ecological Footprint

Claire Foster and David Shreeve
ISBN 9780715141274 (0715141279)
Church House Publishing, 2007

Category: Ethics & Morality
Reviewed by: Phil Groom

You're a Christian and you're concerned about the environment: climate change, ecological destruction, global warming, pollution — it seems as though the entire planet is falling apart: can anything you do make a difference? This little booklet (64 pages, appropriately printed on recycled paper made from 100% post-consumer waste) offers a resounding YES to that question, and goes on to suggest practical and simple ways in which you and your church can reduce your contribution to climate chaos.

The booklet is brightly presented in full colour: a rare case of one book that you really can judge by its cover, an in-your-face comic book style but with a serious message, perfect for the youth group. Each of the book's eight sections — Water, Energy, Transport, Waste, Biodiversity, Wellbeing, Lifestyle and Sabbath — offers a brief intro to its topic followed by action tips that can be applied in three areas: You; You & Your Church; and You & Your Community. Web sites and other contact details for finding more information and resources are provided where available.

Looking at Energy as an example, we're told, "Changing just one high energy light bulb to a low energy one saves 75kg of carbon dioxide a year. That's 7,500 party balloonsfull." (p.16). So "Offer to donate energy-saving bulbs to the church." (p.22). It's straightforward advice that really ought to be common sense but, sadly, much of the time, isn't; which makes the booklet good news because it pulls you up short with simple reminders of how easy it can be to make changes for the better at a personal, church and community level.

It's the sort of book that churches should consider buying in bulk and giving out to their congregations, but at the publisher's price of £4.99 it's definitely overpriced: half that, £2.50, would be more realistic and fairer; make it £1.99 and it might even become the bestseller it deserves to be!

Useful Links
Christian Ecology Link: Christians working for a greener church
Google Search for "Climate Change": Direct link to Google's search results
Green Electricity: Independent guide to green energy suppliers
Greener Living: UK Government guide to greener living
Operation Noah: We're all in the same boat...
Shrinking the Footprint: The Church of England's National Environment Campaign

Phil Groom, April 2007

Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.

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