By Catherine Moran
I purchased Practically Green used from Better World Books. I have to give them a brief plug, because they are pretty neat. From their website:
We’re breaking new ground in online bookselling. We believe that education and access to books are basic human rights. That’s why books sold on BetterWorldBooks.com help fund high-impact literacy projects in the United States and around the world. That’s why we commit to matching every purchase on our website with a book donation to someone in need – Book for Book™
All books are available with free shipping worldwide. And in case you’re concerned about your eco-footprint, every order shipped from Mishawaka is carbon balanced with Green-e Climate certified offsets from 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services firm.
Awesome, right? Ok, plug done. On to the book review.
I read Practically Green in one sitting. One of the reasons for this is that there’s a lot of DIY projects included here, many for children (which I do not have, so I skimmed those), and I was reading the book on the subway. As much as I’d like to be able to make “Volcano Sink Scrub” to clean my kitchen sink right after reading the recipe, that is something I’ll have to revisit when I am prepared to make it, not when I’m avoiding getting an armpit in the face as the train takes me to my destination.
The other reason this was a quick read for me was because this is a book for green beginners (and, as we all know, I am a Green Master. Note: this item in parentheses is a joke). But, given that this book was written in 2009, many of the ideas author Micaela Preston proposes have become part of the green psyche that many of us already know (especially those of you who have been reading Adventures in Greening!) Preston makes suggestions for small changes, like bringing your own bags when shopping, or buying materials BPA-free. The organization of the book is very helpful, broken down into 6 sections: Eating (how to shop for sustainable food), Living (using nontoxic products), Cleaning (recipes for making natural cleaning products at home), Caring (for natural bath and body care), Wearing (information about natural and sustainable clothing), and Conserving (buying less).
The most shocking thing I learned in this book, which I hadn’t gleaned from reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan or Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, is this: “Stating that chicken has ‘no added hormones’ is meaningless because by law poultry aren’t allowed to be given hormones.” I don’t eat chicken anymore, but, man. We really have no idea what is going on with so much of the food we buy. I’ll continue to stick to the farmers market, thank you.
Long and short: this is a great book for an introduction to going green. It’ll give you some recipes to try out (you may see a review in the future based on experiences!), and a better idea of how to green most aspects of your lifestyle. This would be a great read in particular for parents, as many of the recipes for food and activities would appeal to children (crayon cupcakes, for instance).
Do you have any green reads you’d recommend? I’m always looking for some great reads.
As always, be well, greenies!
Adventures in Greening is a column running on Kate-book.com every other Monday at noon. It is written by the very eco-conscious Catherine Moran. Follow Catherine on Twitter @folowbredcrumbs, or check out her excellent book blog.