Inconspicuous Consumption|Tatiana Schlossberg
Inconspicuous Consumption : The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have
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*First Place Winner of the Society of Environmental Journalists' Rachel Carson Environment Book Award*

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.--Vogue

From a former New York Times science writer, this urgent call to action will empower you to stand up to climate change and environmental pollution by making simple but impactful everyday choices.

With urgency and wit, Tatiana Schlossberg explains that far from being only a distant problem of the natural world created by the fossil fuel industry, climate change is all around us, all the time, lurking everywhere in our convenience-driven society, all without our realizing it.

By examining the unseen and unconscious environmental impacts in four areas-the Internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel - Schlossberg helps readers better understand why climate change is such a complicated issue, and how it connects all of us: How streaming a movie on Netflix in New York burns coal in Virginia; how eating a hamburger in California might contribute to pollution in the Gulf of Mexico; how buying an inexpensive cashmere sweater in Chicago expands the Mongolian desert; how destroying forests from North Carolina is necessary to generate electricity in England.

Cataloging the complexities and frustrations of our carbon-intensive society with a dry sense of humor, Schlossberg makes the climate crisis and its solutions interesting and relevant to everyone who cares, even a little, about the planet. She empowers readers to think about their stuff and the environment in a new way, helping them make more informed choices when it comes to the future of our world.

Most importantly, this is a book about the power we have as voters and consumers to make sure that the fight against climate change includes all of us and all of our stuff, not just industry groups and politicians. If we have any hope of solving the problem, we all have to do it together.

A compelling-and illuminating-look at how our daily habits impact the environment.--Vanity Fair

Shows how even the smallest decisions can have profound environmental consequences.--The New York Times


  • ISBN-13: 9781538747087
  • ISBN-10: 1538747081
  • Publisher: Balance
  • Publish Date: August 2019
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
  • Page Count: 288

Inconspicuous Consumption

We are inundated daily with reports about the devastating effects climate change is wreaking on the planet. Just when we thought we had heard it all, former New York Times science writer Tatiana Schlossberg brings new issues to the forefront in her debut book, Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have, outlining how our individual habits and the products we use play a significant role in the changing climate. 

Schlossberg’s investigative reporting skills are a huge asset in explaining how we got to this point, why it matters and what we can do about it. Full disclosure: She does not paint a pretty picture. The detailed scientific evidence and statistics she uncovers are mind-boggling and very scary, particularly the complexity of the consumer impact on the environment and how swiftly it’s altering our world. But she does her best to lighten the mood by mixing these cold, hard facts with witty prose.

She breaks the book down into four main sections of human consumption: technology and the internet, food, fashion and fuel. Most folks have heard about how food and fuel contribute to climate change, but technology and fashion are lesser-known culprits. The reasons behind the environmental footprint of these two industries are eye-opening, such as the enormous quantities of water required to grow cotton to make our jeans and the huge amount of power wasted by devices in off, standby and sleep mode (equivalent to a quarter of all residential energy, as per one study).

As pointed out by Schlossberg, what it boils down to is that many of our daily activities are “much more connected to each other, to global climate change, and to each one of us than we think.” Although she offers suggestions for many of the pressing issues, she admits that our ripple effect on climate change is confusing and that “it’s really hard to know the right thing to do.” As we continue to push the Earth to its limits, Inconspicuous Consumption is a call to action for our future success and survival.