1. Historically, entertainment might have been a spirited game of kick the can or hoop trundling. As technology has improved, however, few would consider these to be fun. More likely, modern people searching for a bit of relaxation will find it in an electronic amusement, whether television or a computer game. These digital distractions, though, require energy, upping the power requirements for a household. Reading—one of the oldest sources of fun and learning—can be a part of the fun in any green household.

    Those who enjoy reading often have a love for books that compels the collection of their favorites. While their reading does not require any energy other than that of concentration, the books’ creation does need massive amounts of power. Limiting the purchase of paper books to used book stores and thrift stores will help in this situation.

    Additionally, libraries provide the free use of their collection and services to citizens. For those books that might be interesting but will not be re-read, checking them out from a library would be a good and frugal choice. If the library does not own a particular item, then it can be obtained through interlibrary loan, thus widening the possible choices for reading.

    Although libraries are the traditional means for borrowing books, new online communities have been created to trade books. Websites such as PaperBack Swap allow members to trade books that they no longer want for others that they would like to read. There is shipping involved, of course, but these sort of trading systems reduce the need for purchasing new books, and they provide a service for those searching for a particular book that they might not otherwise be able to read.

    For those who cannot quite kick the electronic habit, there are some alternatives. E-readers are becoming popular through their versatility and storage capacity. In addition, e-books are quickly outselling more traditional books on Amazon. As they are electronic and do not require the use of paper and other products that are needed for paper-based books, they are environmentally friendly in their own way. The readers required for these books are even becoming green through solar cell technology. Many solar chargers exist that would make an e-reader a true ecological friend.

    While reading is just one of the many entertainment possibilities, it can provide a means for learning and escape even as it maintains its green image. Many different booksellers and lenders exist to give all people a chance to discover a new favorite read.

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