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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Green Greener Greenest

Author: Lori Bongiorno
Originally Published: 2008
Publisher: Penguin

Green Greener GreenestGreen Greener Greenest was written by a freelance journalist. This book is the result of Bongiorno becoming more concerned about the health of her family, and deciding to start looking into ways to make healthier choices for both her family and the planet. What Bongionrno discovered was that going “green” was a daunting experience. With this book, she hopes to help other people who may be also be deciding to live a more green lifestyle.

The book is divided into chapters that focus on different areas of life – everything from personal hygiene to home improvement to transportation, from food to children and of course the three R’s. It also includes chapters on beverages and pest control – areas that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought about when trying to live a greener lifestyle. Each chapter gives basic information about what you need to think about in relation to that subject, labels that you need to be aware of on products, tips on how to become more green in that area, and ways that you can become more active in advocating environmentally friendly products and practices.

Personally, I found that there wasn’t much new with a lot of the tips in most of the chapters. They’re either something I’ve applied to my life for reasons other than going “green” (such as washing cutting boards after using them to cut meat – that’s not green, that’s just sanitary), or (more likely) they are the same tips that any website or any other sort of media that promotes going green uses. However, if you haven’t been paying much attention to the idea of going green and want to pick up this book to help you get kick started, they could be helpful.

What was really useful about the book was all of the other information. It was so great that it explained what labels on products mean. For example, if a product claims that it is biodegradable, it doesn’t really mean anything as it probably doesn’t give you a timeline as to how long it takes for the product to break down completely. The book also provides names of designers, companies and stores that promote sustainability and provide green products, as well as giving ideas of exactly what you should be looking for when purchasing something new. For example – what questions you should ask when buying food from farmer’s markets.

What I really wish this book had provided more of was more recipes for home cleaners (something I’ve started making myself lately) but at least they did provide a couple of website URLs that apparently do contain recipes.

The Bottom Line: This would be a good reference book to have on the shelf, to go back to and look up specific labels, or in case you ever needed to find recommended websites relating to specific information. I borrowed this from the library, but I think I’ll be trying to get my own copy at some point in time just so I actually can go back to it when I have questions.

This was my first book for the Eco Reading Challenge.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:22 pm May 11, 2009.
Category: Non-Fiction
Book Author(s):

  • Chris@bookarama

    I didn’t know that about biodegradable labels. I’m glad you got something out of it.

    Don’t forget to add your review to the review blog Mr Linky.

    And I posted about the One Million Acts of Green website today. Thanks for the help!

  • Memory

    This does sound like a good resource, even if some of the tips are pretty obvious. (That washing the cutting board thing had me scratching my head, too). Thanks for the review!

  • Nymeth

    Eek…there are people who DON’T wash their cutting boards? :P

  • Pardon My French

    Thanks for the review – I might try to check it out at the library when I go home. I’ve got a book in French on cleaning tips (linked to a TV reality show) and it does come in very handy. Lots of those old-fashioned remedies do work really well! I recently did the vinegar/baking soda trick and the fizzing was pretty cool.