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Is Your Intuition Real Gold or Fool’s Gold? By Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D.

October 11th, 2010
This post (along with about 300 other articles) is available exclusively to subscribers or to members of the Clean and Green Club. If you are a subscriber or Club member, please login at www.thecleanandgreenclub.com/members If you are not a subscriber or member, please visit www.thecleanandgreenclub.com

New on the Sites, July 2010

July 1st, 2010

Down to Business

Global Travel Review

Global Arts Review

Frugal & Fashionable Living

Ethics Articles

Good Business Blog

New on the Sites, June 2010

June 7th, 2010

Global Travel Review

Global Arts Review

Down to Business Magazine

Frugal & Fashionable Living

Ethics Articles

Peace & Politics

Good Business Blog


New on the Sites, May 2010

May 7th, 2010

Down to Business Magazine

Global Travel Review

Global Arts Review

Good Business Blog

Frugal Fun Tip, April 2010

April 4th, 2010
Frugal Fun Tips
March, 2010 was the last issue of Frugal Fun Tips, but you can access the archives free at http://www.frugalfun.com/frugalfuntips.html and find a treasure-trove of money saving ideas.
Looking for more great ideas on ways to save money, have more fun, or go green?

NOTE: the above links go to the preview pages. If you want to go directly to the order form, use this link instead.

Hear and Meet
  • The live call with John Ritskowitz (Marketing Medic) and Jay Conrad Levinson (Guerrilla Marketing), originally scheduled for March, was rescheduled for medical reasons to Tuesday, April 6, 3pm ET/noon PT. John is actually coming up from his home an hour away (we’ve never met), and bringing some high end audio AND video equipment, so this may be a very high-fidelity call. It should be pretty exciting and I hope you’ll join us as we discuss Green Guerrilla Marketing. And there will be some extra excitement in the air, as it’s the last few hours of Passover, and I’ll be eagerly looking forward to Bread Day, which starts at sundown :-) To join the call sign up free at http://www.johnritz.com/blog/guerrilla-marketing-in-your-living-room/ We’ll be giving away autographed copies of the book and other goodies on the event, so don’t delay…
  • April 15, 9 pm ET/6 pm PT: Tweleseminar, “Communicate the Value in Your Values.” Justin Sachs, justin (at) justinsachscompanies.com
  • April 24, I’ll be exhibiting at the Sustainability Expo in downtown Amherst, MA: CiccarelloS (at) amherstma.gov
  • April 25, I’ll be speaking on collaborating with a co-author at the American Society of Journalists and Authors conference in New York. http://asja.org/wc/2010/ (using my new co-authored book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, as a case study)April 29, 3 pm ET/noon PT, I’ll be presenting on Grassroots Book Marketing Strategies for Stephanie Chandler’s virtual Nonfiction Book Writers Conference: Contact janica (at) authoritypublishing.com
  • May 8, I’ll be speaking once again on book marketing at CAPA University in Hartford, CT: http://www.aboutcapa.com/capa_university_writers_conferen.htm
  • May 11, 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, I will once again be speaking on “Create Value from Your Values” for Hilton Johnson’s teleseminar series (and this means you will once again get a series of mailings from me about Hilton’s health coaching program and about the other calls he’s hosting in May).
  • May 14, 12 pm ET, I’ll be interviewed on Solo Talk with Donna Amos.  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/solotalk
  • June 9, I’ll be interviewed again for the Guerrilla Marketing Association’s weekly calls–this time by Alexandru Israil from Romania. Contact: alexandru.israil (at) gmail.com
  • June 15, I’ll be Linda MacKenzie’s guest on the Creative Health and Spirit Show, on HealthyLife.Net radio. Linda has interviewed me a few times in the past, and is actually the CEO of this Internet radio network.
  • It looks pretty likely that I’ll be speaking on Green Marketing at SolarFest, sometime the weekend of July 16-18, in Tinmouth, Vermont. This is a wonderful event; I attended several years ago, and you can read about it here: http://www.frugalfun.com/solarfest.html
  • September 19, I speak at Live Green! in Norwalk, CT. Contact: sweicker (at) sbweventsgroup.com
  • October 2, I’m speaking at the second annual Self-Publishing Book Expo in New York City, http://selfpubbookexpo.com/
  • October 12 at 7pm ET/4 pm PT: My third annual presentation to the MUSE Online Writers Conference. This time, Selling a Self-Published Book to a Traditional Publisher
Friends Who Want to Help
  • There’s no better way to get traditional press (a/k/a mainstream media) covering you than to answer inquiries from reporters looking for sources. I’ve used this strategy to be cited multiple times in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, even Woman’s Day (among many, many others). I subscribe to every service I know about that connects journalists and sources. My old friend Steve Harrison from Radio TV Interview Report has just launched a new one, with no charge for leads. http://bit.ly/bD6WzG (affiliate link). Given how much it costs to advertise in RTIR, this is a real bargain, at zero cost.
  • There’s an extraordinary new book that has just been published, one that will show you exactly how the billionaires/superstars and geniuses of our world get the results that they get. An international bestseller within days of its release, The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life (Simon & Schuster) is the game-changing book by top leadership expert Robin Sharma, who’se books (Including The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari) have transformed the lives of millions of people worldwide. For the first time, Robin shares the proprietary success formula that he’s shared with his billionaire coaching clients and companies like NIKE, FedEx, IBM, Microsoft and GE. In “The Leader Who Had No Title”, you will discover exactly how to awaken your inner leader, play at wow in all you do, unleash massive amounts of excellence and productivity, get to world-class in your work, build an unbeatable mindset and really win in these turbulent times. This book will blow the doors off your past ways of thinking, performing and being. “If you want to operate at the level of WOW, be an exceptional leader and live full out-buy this book.” – Darren Hardy, publisher, SUCCESS magazine “The Leader Who Had No Title is a game-changing book…get ready for an AMAZING new life!” – Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author of “Happy for No Reason” Buy this book April 6th (it’s less than $20!) and you’ll get over 100 incredible bonus gifts from bestselling authors (worth over $1,057) and a chance to win one of 24 iPods. To puchase, visit www.theleaderwhohadnotitle.com on April 6th.
  • Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning novelist and author of the How to Do It Frugally series of how-to books for writers, is doing an October writing retreat in Rome!  Even this far out, she’s down to just a couple of spaces. Want more info? Write to her at hojonews (at) aol.com

-> New on the Sites, April 2010

-> Media Coverage of Shel

-> Which of Shel’s Books is Right for You?

-> Administrative Information

Subscribe, unsubscribe, back issues, etc.

Published monthly since May, 1997 by Shel Horowitz
16 Barstow Lane, Hadley, MA 01035 USA
413/586-2388

Book Marketing Tip, March 2010

March 28th, 2010

Final Issue of Book Marketing Tips

Note: You have voted with your feet. This is the final issue of my Book Marketing Tip of the Month. Thank you for your support since 2007. I will continue to send announcements of interest, such as where I’ll be speaking and people who want to offer you things of value, but for more of my book marketing wisdom, I suggest purchasing a copy of my award-winning seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers.

This Month’s Tip: Lessons From a Book Launch, Part II

The recent launch of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green was my second time mounting a campaign to get online sales in a concentrated timeframe; I also did this in 2003, with the release of Principled Profit.  And much has changed in seven years… Click here to continue reading.

All Pre-March Clean and Green Memberships Extended

Note: Because February presented some logistical challenges in getting the Club rolling, if you joined the Clean and Green Club in January or February either as a paying member or for the two-month no-cost trial, we are counting your membership as starting from March 1; trial memberships will run through March and April.

Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green Buzz

There are now well more than one million exact-match hits on Google for “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green”–wow! I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with something that had this much buzz.

This book is going to make some serious waves. It’s a completely different approach to the business mindset, based in ethics, cooperation, and environmental principles, and it’s generating some significant buzz. Reporters who’ve been interviewing me have been asking a lot deeper questions than I’m accustomed to getting–which is great.

Grab your copy and run your business according to its principles. You may find you suddenly have a significant competitive edge, and that it’s easier to be profitable even during a downturn.

Three formats available: paperback, Kindle, and traditional e-book. However you buy it, be sure to visit http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com/bonuses to claim the $2600 worth of bonuses (that’s about 120 times the price of the book!).

For paperback, your choice of five bookseller links from the bottom of the home page and several other pages at http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com

For e-books for B&N Nook, Blackberry, iPhone, iPhone Touch, PC and MAC:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Guerrilla-Marketing-Goes-Green/Jay-Conrad-Levinson/e/9780470564585/?itm=1&USRI=guerrilla+marketing+goes+green

For Kindle:
http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Marketing-Goes-Green-ebook/dp/B00340ESAG/ref=kinw_dp_ke?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1261943660&sr=1-1

Oh, and if you’d like to help out with the launch, and at your option earn some very healthy commissions, please visit

http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com/submit-a-bonus/jv

Green and Ethical Marketing on Facebook

Please sign up for my new Facebook Fan Page, Green and Ethical Marketing with Shel Horowitz, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-and-Ethical-Marketing-with-Shel-Horowitz/203659771513?ref=mf – for links, discussions, and other goodies related to Green and ethical marketing.

Hear and Meet Shel

* April 15, 9 pm ET/6 pm PT: Tweleseminar, “Communicate the Value in Your Values.” Justin Sachs, justin (at) justinsachscompanies.com
* April 24, I’ll be exhibiting at the Sustainability Expo in downtown Amherst, MA: CiccarelloS (at) amherstma.gov
* April 25, I’ll be speaking on collaborating with a co-author at the American Society of Journalists and Authors conference in New York. http://asja.org/wc/2010/
* April 29, 3 pm ET/noon PT, I’ll be presenting on Grassroots Book Marketing Strategies for Stephanie Chandler’s virtual Nonfiction Book Writers Conference: Contact janica (at) authoritypublishing.com
* May 8, I’ll be speaking once again on book marketing at CAPA University in Hartford, CT: http://www.aboutcapa.com/capa_university_writers_conferen.htm
* It looks pretty likely that I’ll be speaking on Green Marketing at SolarFest, sometime the weekend of July 16-18, in Tinmouth, Vermont. This is a wonderful event; I attended several years ago, and you can read about it here: http://www.frugalfun.com/solarfest.html
* October 12 at 7pm ET/4 pm PT: My third annual presentation to the MUSE Online Writers Conference. This time, Selling a Self-Published Book to a Traditional Publisher

Friends Who Want to Help You

* I’ve listened to several calls with Jack Zufelt over the years, and read a number of his newsletters. He’s smart, aggressive, and not afraid to be direct. $1 gets you a trial of his DNA of Success membership program – read all the details at http://bit.ly/b0C7Cg (affiliate link)
* If you’re a freelancer, consultant or solo professional in any field, I have a book recommendation for you. My friend Ed Gandia and two co-authors just released The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle (Penguin/Alpha). This book is brimming with practical, proven strategies the authors have used to consistently attract great clients, earn high incomes and enjoy a flexible lifestyle. And if you pick up a copy by midnight this Friday, you’ll get up to $321 in extra goodies. To learn more, visit http://www.TheWealthyFreelancer.com/amazon
* There’s no better way to get traditional press (a/k/a mainstream media) covering you than to answer inquiries from reporters looking for sources. I’ve used this strategy to be cited multiple times in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, even Woman’s Day (among many, many others). I subscribe to every service I know about that connects journalists and sources. My old friend Steve Harrison from Radio TV Interview Report has just launched a new one, with no charge for leads. http://bit.ly/bD6WzG (affiliate link). Given how much it costs to advertise in RTIR, this is a real bargain, at zero cost.

New on the Sites, March 2010

Media Coverage of Shel

Which of Shel’s Books Should You Own?

Administrative Information
Subscribe, unsubscribe, back issues, etc.

Published monthly since July, 2009 by Shel Horowitz
16 Barstow Lane, Hadley, MA 01035 USA

Lessons From a Book Launch, Part II: Shel Horowitz’s Book Marketing Tip of the Month, March, 2010

March 28th, 2010

Note: You have voted with your feet. This is the final issue of my Book Marketing Tip of the Month. Thank you for your support since 2007. I will continue to send announcements of interest, such as where I’ll be speaking and people who want to offer you things of value, but for more of my book marketing wisdom, I suggest purchasing a copy of my award-winning seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers.

Lessons From a Book Launch, Part II

The recent launch of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green was my second time mounting a campaign to get online sales in a concentrated timeframe; I also did this in 2003, with the release of Principled Profit.

And much has changed in seven years. Back then, Amazon.com was a lot younger, and was moving a whole lot lower volume of books. It took a relatively small number of sales (low three figures, as best as I can determine) to break into the Amazon Top 100. I got all the way to #83 back then, and #12 for business books. As best as I can figure, that campaign seven years ago put my book in front of about 200,000 people.

And back then, the industry noticed even a one-day spike on a single retail site.

Not anymore. Over a nine-day period, I probably sold considerably more books this time than I had during the one-day blitz in 2003. I certainly reached a much larger number: approximately 988,000 (it would have been nice to reach a million, being so close). And while I got all the way to #6 in the Environmental category, I never got past 27,000 overall, and I never made the slightest dent on the Business category list. And from what I’ve heard, sustained strength over a week or two is considered a much better indicator than a one-day spike.

Yes, it’s possible that if I had only one day for the campaign, I would have gotten perhaps twice as many orders as I did on any single day during this nine-day attempt–but I think the top 100 for overall sales would have still been far, far out of reach.

And my editor at Wiley warned me against trying. One-day sales on one site are not taken seriously by the industry anymore, she said; too many people are doing them and the novelty has more than worn off. These days, you want a sustained push across multiple retail channels and multiple days.

My original goal was to reach five million people with the campaign, and I think I would have if I had had greater participation from the people I asked to participate. Only about 10 percent of the newsletter editors and bloggers I contacted chose to join the campaign (which is actually an amazingly high percentage by typical direct-mail standards, but because many of these people are folks I’ve built up a relationship with over many years, I’d expected closer to 35 or 50 percent–maybe that was unrealistic). Some people “don’t do product launches,” some wanted more time to ramp up, some wanted a better compensation package, some didn’t see the notices in the flood of e-mail (a few of those I was able to convert with a last-minute push via Twitter), and some simply didn’t respond. And some may have not found the sales page on the commissionable upsell offer sufficiently convincing; I’m just revising it.

I’m thinking about doing a second push, and reaching out again to some of those folks. But it’s quite a bit of work. I did this campaign on my own, rather than hire a consultant at $9500 to $15,000 (another thing that’s changed; the typical price in 2003 was around $1000 to $1200, and I still did it on my own). With today’s high prices for this sort of campaign, I doubt it would be worth the investment for most authors, unless they have specific ways to leverage their fleeting best-seller status.

If I did do another one, I’d start recruiting three or four months early, send updates about every two weeks, and be sure to give people a way to opt out of the list (I did receive a few complaints, even though they weren’t actually subscribed to anything. And I cheerfully took them off the list when asked.)

Still, I have to say, it was very nice to email my publisher that the book was a #6 category bestseller on Amazon, and to e-mail again that there were over one million exact matches for the book title on Google. Neither would have happened without the bestseller campaign.

Shel Horowitz’s latest book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green (co-authored wit the legendary Jay Conrad Levinson), still comes with over $2600 worth of bonuses, no matter where you buy a new copy. One of the bonuses is a two-month trial membership to Shel’s membership-based learning community, The Clean and Green Club.

New on the Sites, April 2010

March 26th, 2010

Down to Business

Good Business Blog

Global Arts Review

Global Travel Review

Peace & Politics Magazine

Frugal & Fashionable Living

Ethics Articles

Frugal Fun Tip, March 2010

March 10th, 2010

-> This is the Final Issue of Shel Horowitz’s Monthly Frugal Fun Tips

As I’ve mentioned in the past several issues, I set a deadline of March, 2010 for this newsletter to be self-supporting through voluntary donations. You’ve voted with your feet. I have been giving of myself every month in this newsletter all the way back to May, 1997. I’ve told you hundreds of ways to save money on travel, dining, entertainment, kid activities, cheap shopping, recreation, and more. 13 years in, I can’t do it for free anymore, and you don’t want to pay for it. So with this issue, I fold my tent. I’ll still send you the notices of upcoming events and offers, since I’ll be doing that for my paid subscribers to other newsletters—but I’m all done writing this monthly tip. Be sure to scroll down for the final tip; it’s a good one.

If you’d like to say thank-you for all these years of service, and get extremely valuable information a the same time, may I suggest that you purchase one or both of my consumer e-books, both designed to save you many times their very small purchase price:

Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life-With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle, which will help you become more Green and save money

The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty With a Peasant’s Pocketbook, which saves you big bucks on travel, dining, entertainment, and other FUN

NOTE: the above links go to the preview pages. If you want to go directly to the order form, use this link instead.

-> This Month’s Tip: Be Your Own Food Producer

Here in the Northeastern United States, spring is in the air and people are beginning to think about their gardens. If you’ve never had a garden, or even if you don’t have a place for a garden, think about doing so. Consider this… (Click here to continue reading)

-> All Pre-March Clean and Green Memberships Extended

Note: Because February presented some logistical challenges in getting the Club rolling, if you joined the Clean and Green Club in January or February either as a paying member or for the two-month no-cost trial, we are counting your membership as starting from March 1; trial memberships will run through March and April.

There are now well more than one million exact-match hits on Google for “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green”–wow! I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with something that had this much buzz.

This book is going to make some serious waves. It’s a completely different approach to the business mindset, based in ethics, cooperation, and environmental principles, and it’s generating some significant buzz. Reporters who’ve been interviewing me have been asking a lot deeper questions than I’m accustomed to getting–which is great.

Grab your copy and run your business according to its principles. You may find you suddenly have a significant competitive edge, and that it’s easier to be profitable even during a downturn.

Three formats available: paperback, Kindle, and traditional e-book. However you buy it, be sure to visit

http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com/bonuses to claim the $2600 worth of bonuses (that’s about 120 times the price of the book!).

For paperback, your choice of five bookseller links from the bottom of the home page and several other pages at http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com

For e-books for B&N Nook, Blackberry, iPhone, iPhone Touch, PC and MAC: click here

For Kindle: click here

Oh, and if you’d like to help out with the launch, and at your option earn some very healthy commissions, please visit http://guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com/submit-a-bonus/jv

-> Hear and Meet Shel

  • John Ritskowitz, a/k/a the Marketing Medic, will be interviewing both me and my Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green co-author Jay Conrad Levinson Tuesday, March 16, 3 pm ET/noon PT. This should be interesting, because John is coming up from Connecticut to do the interview live, and Jay will join us by phone from Florida. John and I have known each other online for several years, but have never met. So he’s coming up for the afternoon, we’ll have lunch together, I’ll show him around the farm, I’ll tape an interview with him for my Clean and Green Club, and then he’ll interview me and Jay. By that time, we should be all warmed up and will probably head into some pretty advanced territory. https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/481396353
  • Dave Mathison from Be The Media–a wonderful book, BTW–interviews me on Green markerting. david (at) bethemedia.com
  • Just Added! I’ll be speaking in NYC Friday March 19 at GoGreenExpo’s Business Day, 12:30 pm ET, and then signing copies of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. Business buyers get in at no charge on Friday (with a relevant business card). If you’d like to attend Saturday and/or Sunday, here’s a discount code (gets you into the Architecture Fair also): visit http://www.gogreenexpo.com and use promo code NYSPEAKER when registering for tickets.
  • March 24, I’m doing a teleseminar for Stacy Karacostas on Green and ethical business success: stacy (at) success-stream.com
  • April 15, 9 pm ET/6 pm PT: Tweleseminar, “Communicate the Value in Your Values.” Justin Sachs, justin (at) justinsachscompanies.com
  • April 24, I’ll be exhibiting at the Sustainability Expo in downtown Amherst, MA: CiccarelloS (at) amherstma.gov
  • April 25, I’ll be speaking on collaborating with a co-author at the American Society of Journalists and Authors conference in New York. http://asja.org/wc/2010/
  • April 29, 3 pm ET/noon PT, I’ll be presenting on Grassroots Book Marketing Strategies for Stephanie Chandler’s virtual Nonfiction Book Writers Conference: Contact janica (at) authoritypublishing.com
  • May 8, I’ll be speaking once again on book marketing at CAPA University in Hartford, CT: http://www.aboutcapa.com/capa_university_writers_conferen.htm
  • It looks pretty likely that I’ll be speaking on Green Marketing at SolarFest, sometime the weekend of July 16-18, in Tinmouth, Vermont. This is a wonderful event; I attended several years ago, and you can read about it here: http://www.frugalfun.com/solarfest.html
  • October 12 at 7pm ET/4 pm PT: My third annual presentation to the MUSE Online Writers Conference. This time, Selling a Self-Published Book to a Traditional Publisher

-> Friends Who Want to Help You

  • I’ve listened to several calls with Jack Zufelt over the years, and read a number of his newsletters. He’s smart, aggressive, and not afraid to be direct. $1 gets you a trial of his DNA of Success membership program – read all the details at http://bit.ly/b0C7Cg (affiliate link)
  • If you’re a freelancer, consultant or solo professional in any field, I have a book recommendation for you. My friend Ed Gandia and two co-authors just released The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle (Penguin/Alpha). This book is brimming with practical, proven strategies the authors have used to consistently attract great clients, earn high incomes and enjoy a flexible lifestyle. And if you pick up a copy by midnight this Friday, you’ll get up to $321 in extra goodies. To learn more, visit http://www.TheWealthyFreelancer.com/amazon
  • There’s no better way to get traditional press (a/k/a mainstream media) covering you than to answer inquiries from reporters looking for sources. I’ve used this strategy to be cited multiple times in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, even Woman’s Day (among many, many others). I subscribe to every service I know about that connects journalists and sources. My old friend Steve Harrison from Radio TV Interview Report has just launched a new one, with no charge for leads. http://bit.ly/bD6WzG (affiliate link). Given how much it costs to advertise in RTIR, this is a real bargain, at zero cost.

-> New on the Sites, March 2010

-> Media Coverage of Shel

-> Which of Shel’s Books is Right for You?

-> Administrative Information

Subscribe, unsubscribe, back issues, etc.

Published monthly since May, 1997 by Shel Horowitz
16 Barstow Lane, Hadley, MA 01035 USA
413/586-2388

Be a Food Producer-Frugal Fun Tip, March, 2010

March 10th, 2010

This is the Final Issue of Shel Horowitz’s Monthly Frugal Fun Tips

As I’ve mentioned in the past several issues, I set a deadline of March, 2010 for this newsletter to be self-supporting through voluntary donations. You’ve voted with your feet. I have been giving of myself every month in this newsletter all the way back to May, 1997. I’ve told you hundreds of ways to save money on travel, dining, entertainment, kid activities, cheap shopping, recreation, and more. 13 years in, I can’t do it for free anymore, and you don’t want to pay for it. So with this issue, I fold my tent. I’ll still send you the notices of upcoming events and offers, since I’ll be doing that for my paid subscribers to other newsletters—but I’m all done writing this monthly tip. Be sure to scroll down for the final tip; it’s a good one.

If you’d like to say thank-you for all these years of service, and get extremely valuable information a the same time, may I suggest that you purchase one or both of my consumer e-books, both designed to save you many times their very small purchase price:

Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life-With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle, which will help you become more Green and save money

The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty With a Peasant’s Pocketbook, which saves you big bucks on travel, dining, entertainment, and other FUN


NOTE: the above links go to the preview pages. If you want to go directly to the order form, use this link instead.

This Month’s Tip: Be Your Own Food Producer

Here in the Northeastern United States, spring is in the air and people are beginning to think about their gardens. If you’ve never had a garden, or even if you don’t have a place for a garden, think about doing so. Consider this:

  • Fresh food tastes a LOT better! Once you’ve tasted the real thing, you may never again be able to choke down a cardboard tomato grown 3000 miles away and gas “ripened” to make it turn something resembling red. Even I was astounded at how much flavor the sunflower seeds we grew last year had when we harvested them. I always thought of sunflower seeds as a somewhat tasteless but nutritious food—boy, was I wrong!
  • Local organic food has a much lower carbon footprint. Chemical agriculture uses enormous amounts of petroleum products, and so do transportation and storage.
  • Local organic food is also healthier. Fruits and vegetables start losing their nutritional value as soon as they’re separated from the plant, so if you pick as you consume, you get more nutrients. And if you’re growing organically, you don’t contaminate your body with as many toxic pesticide residues (though in our polluted world, your produce may not be 100% pesticide-free). And no farmers or gardeners get sick from the chemicals you’re not applying.
  • Tending your garden, you’ll get sun, outside time, and even some exercise—not to mention the joy of adding beauty and function to your own life and to the world.
  • Growing your own is frugal.If we pay five bucks for a flat of six tomato plants, and those plants yield 1000 fruits (yes, we’ve gotten those kinds of yields, and more), that means each scrumptious tomato costs us half a cent.

If you have a sunny spot outside, so much the better. But even if you don’t, I have a friend who used to live in a basement apartment in densely populated,urban, cold-in-the-winter Providence, Rhode Island. She managed to grow herbs and dwarf tomatoes on her windowsill, despite the very limited amount of sun. If she can do it, you can do it.

I know your time is important, so start small. The first year, maybe all you want to do is something very limited. Try two tomato plants, one or two basils, and some dill. If you’re more ambitious, add a row of green beans. All of these are easy to grow. Other than snipping the flower stalks off the basil (and pulling up weeds every few days), none of these need much maintenance. If you get hooked, try broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and even a couple of rows of corn and one or two sunflowers. We’ve even grown artichokes!





Note: As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.