From one of the most prestigious nonprofit organizations devoted to environmental issues comes a clear, practical, and rational overview of the relationship between consumers and the environment. Paper or plastic? Bus or car? Old house or new? Cloth diapers or disposables? Some choices have a huge impact on the environment; others are of negligible importance. To those of us who care about our quality of life and what is happening to the earth, this is a vastly important issue. In these pages, the Union of Concerned Scientists help inform consumers about everyday decisions that significantly affect the environment. For example, a few major decisions--such as the choice of a house or vehicle--have such a disproportionately large affect on the environment that minor environmental infractions shrink by comparison. This book identifies the 4 Most Significant Consumer-Related Environmental Problems, the 7 Most Damaging Spending Categories, 11 Priority Actions, and 7 Rules for Responsible Consumption. Learn what you can do to have a truly significant impact on our world from the people who are at the forefront of scientific research.