Book review: Green is not a colour

Are you interested in environmentalism, but don’t understand all the statistics that get thrown at you?

Or perhaps you don’t understand the concept of ‘green’?

Then ‘Green is not a colour’ might be the book for you. It focuses on environmental issues within a South African context. The issues are broken up over several areas: energy, food and agriculture, transport, consumer goods, buildings and cities.

This book really opened my eyes to the world around me and how even the smallest thing you do in your daily life can have a big impact in the grander scheme of things. The nice thing about the book is that you can open it up and start reading from any section. You do not have to have read the previous chapters or pages to understand what is being said.

However, after a while the book can start to make you feel guilty about the negative impact you are having on the planet. While it offers solutions to some of the issues, you realise there is not much that you as a single person can do to reverse the greenhouse effect. While every little bit helps, some of the things that Valenti and Atlas suggest, such as recycling, are easy enough to do. But commuting in a way that’s more environmentally friendly (all the time) can be more challenging to maintain.

Using public transport can be more efficient, however, this doesn’t suit everyone because of working hours, distance or location. There are some areas where public transport might not be viable and it’s too far to walk or cycle.

For anyone wanting an overview of the environmental issues that the planet is facing, and the steps that can be taken, by both individuals and countries, this is a book worth considering.


Authors: Devan Valenti & Simon Atlas

Cost: R395


Availability: The book can be purchased at any leading book retailer, such as Exclusive Books and Bargain Books, as well as online through Takealot and Loot.