BOOK LOVE: Sustainability Starts at Home

weekend book love

Every so often, a book comes along that is so practical, you can’t help but immediately using its tips to make changes to your life. The new e-book Sustainability Starts at Home: How to Save Money While Saving the Planet by fellow VGN blogger Dawn Gifford is like that.

Within moments of finishing the book, I walked around the house and easily implemented a handful of changes that will save me hundreds of dollars each year!

I found this book so completely useful, that I decided right then and there that nothing would make me happier than making sure that each and every one of you could get your hands on a copy. So, I asked Dawn if she would give you guys a coupon to use to make the book super affordable, and she did!

But first, my review!

Why “sustainability”?

As Dawn explains in the introduction to her book,

Sustainability is, simply put, the capacity to endure. It’s about using what we need to live now, without jeopardizing the potential for people in the future to meet their needs, too.

If an activity is said to be sustainable, it should be able to continue forever.

When you start to think about what sustainability really means, you begin to glimpse just how deeply and systemically everything needs to change. No longer can we deny the writing on the wall: Very little of what we do in modern life is capable of enduring. Very little of what we consume is produced sustainably.

Sustainability is about looking out for our planet’s limited resources, about preserving them for our children and our children’s children.

It’s about being kind, and wise, and productive.

And, it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it can even save you money!

Sustainability Starts at Home is packed with tip after tip to help you simplify your life, conserve your spending, and reduce your energy usage.

Here are a few super-easy things I began implementing immediately:

  • I increased my thermostat from 76F to 79F during the Texas summer heat. This alone can save $200 per year.
  • I removed half the bulbs from my multi-bulb light fixtures. This can easily save $100 per year in electricity bills. And not only that, reducing overhead lighting after sunset also helps improve sleep quality!
  • I turn off my computer’s monitor when I walk away, rather than using the screen saver. This saves $60 per year!

Are these common sense?


Had I been inspired to do them before reading Dawn’s book?


While these are simple changes you may or may not already be doing, the book is full of a lot of other practical, yet mind-blowing wisdom — 190 pages worth!

You’ll learn how to reduce food waste, including the best methods for storing various fruits & vegetables.

You’ll learn how to save money on sustainably produced foods by joining buying clubs (and she even lists a dozen such national clubs so you can start right away!).

You’ll even learn why credit unions are more sustainable than banks!

Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed Dawn’s writing style.

If I had to use one word to describe the way Dawn writes, it’s eloquent. After that, I’d choose inspiring.

The book is also formatted in a way that’s super eye-catching and easy-to-read. Major tips are pulled out into quotes in the margins; well-placed graphics are informative and meaningful.

In short, reading the book was a joy.

Do I recommend this book?


As I wrote above, it’s the kind of book I think everyone should own. Not only does it pay for itself immediately (by inspiring you to implement just one tip you hadn’t thought of before), but it’s just so useful.

It even has recipes for homemade cleaners, drain de-cloggers, and more!

How to save 30% on Sustainability Starts at Home.

Because I want each and every one of you to get this book, I asked Dawn for a coupon to make the book even more accessible.

She graciously gave one!

Use coupon code RENEGADE30 by Sunday, October 13th to save 30% off the list price.

That brings the book down to just $10.47!

How inexpensive is that?

(Click here to buy Sustainability Starts At Home.)


  1. None says

    What about the millions who rent? Who don’t care about electricity because it’s included in their rent or they pay it anyway? You think everyone has a house? No, they don’t, they start their life on their own.

    Yes I sound like a pessimist. But then again, I have the right to be, seeing as I depend only on myself; not born here and not marrying into financial security (like many people I know did).

    You’re free to publish my comment or not; I am un-subscribing anyway. You can fret over healthy food; I will worry about *any* food I can put on the table.

    • says

      I have been a renter for pretty much my whole life. Even now I’m a homeowner who rents the house I actually live in while I rent out the house I own. So, that said, I have *always* been responsible for paying my own electric bill. It’s never been included in the rent. Sometimes water has been, but never electricity.

      Anyhow, when I first made the switch to eating real food, I was on food stamps. But we still made it work!

  2. None says

    On second sight, my lack of luck is not your concern; delete my comment. Life is hard as an adult immigrant; not your fault anyway.

    I still think you might include in your blog some advice for the less wealthy anyway; maybe some advice for how to eat healthy on a budget; maybe some other advice.

  3. marni says

    I’m very happy for the article on ways to save money by being more sustainable. Thank you for the discount on the book! Cannot wait to get it! :) Enjoy your blog posts ALL the time. Thanks so much!

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