American businesses flush more than a billion gallons of fresh water down the toilet every working day and throw out 15 million plastic toner cartridges every year. Those and four dozen more sordid facts of 9-to-5 life have been collected in 50 Simple Things Your Business Can Do to Save the Earth (EarthWorks Press, Berkeley, Calif., 1991), a slender paperback enumerating the number of trees, gallons of oil, cubic yards of ozone, and so on, that industry squanders.

The point is to persuade industry not to. Contributors describe specific corrective steps and also analyze each recommendation's dollar return. For example, a toilet-water-saving device pays for itself in 13 months; a refilled toner cartridge is about half the price of a new one. The suggestions are simple and really will save the earth -- at least that part of it Exxon and Monsanto haven't gotten to. -- Robert A. Mamis