By Catherine Moran
Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices by Mindy Pennybacker is a quick read. Unlike Micaela Preston’s Practically Green (which I reviewed a few weeks ago), this book is less of a DIY instructional and more of a guidebook for how to make smarter purchases. If you are not trying to go plastic-free like Beth Terry (my review here), then this is a great book to have on hand. Pennybacker makes her purpose very clear in the book’s overview: “This book is for the person who doesn’t do or buy everything green, but who wants to make a difference where it matters.”
The book is broken down into four parts: “Food and Drink,” “A Green and Healthy Home,” “Personal Care and Apparel,” and “Transportation.” There are recipes in the home section, but that’s as far as Do One Green Thing goes in steering you toward becoming a bit less dependent on brands and becoming more reliant on your own ingenuity and “can-do” attitude.
Pennybacker includes “choose it” and “lose it” lists in each section to help you make your purchases greener at a glance. For certain items, she’ll provide multiple lists. For example, in the “Food and Drink” section, she has a list of fish that are best for the ocean (in terms of avoiding overfishing), and a list of fish that are best for your health. Pennybacker acknowledges that personal considerations are sometimes more important than green decisions, which makes this a guilt-free read. Each section also ends with a “science” segment, which explains why these choices that are better for the planet are also better for you, healthwise.
She also includes some amazing statistics that made my jaw drop, such as: