Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Day 100 – The National Geographic Green Guide

National Geographic Green Guide

Green Guide: The Complete Reference for Consuming Wisely is filled with information and tips for living a greener life.  The foreword is by Meryl Streep.  Has anyone else noticed how many books the gorgeous, prolific Meryl has stamped with a foreword?

I recommend reading this book.  You’ll find practical information and advice for making every day decisions.  Here is a quote to give you an example: “Bags, shoes, wallets, and belts – small purchases, but they can have a big impact on the planet.  Look at the material as well as the design.  Is it leather?  Is it PVC?  Was it made in a sweatshop?  You may not be able to make all of your accessories 100 percent green, but some change is better than none.”  The text continues with more details.

Knowledge is power, as the saying goes.  It is true.  The more we know about how and where things are made, the better decisions we will all make in our day-to-day lives.

Day 95 – Salvage


Unbuilding: Salvaging the Architectural Treasures of Unwanted Houses by Bob Falk and Brad Guy is such a cool book!  It tells you how to “deconstruct” or take apart and salvage old buildings.  This is often done when remodeling or demolishing a building.  The art of deconstruction and salvaging, called “unbuilding”  by the authors saves useful items from going to the landfill.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer who wants to get into a hot new market, then this is for you!  You can also do an online search for salvage shops in your area who may carry the products that have been deconstructed and saved from landfills.

I worked with my client who was remodeling and modernizing a vintage apartment building in Chicago.  When I saw the treasures inside, I called my friends at the local salvage shop.  They purchased doors, trim, hardware, and plumbing fixtures from my client.  The doors and trim went on to be a part of a movie set!  This is salvaging in action.

Day 92 – Read “Earth Talk”

Earth Talk

This cute little book called Earth Talk is filled with “Expert Answers to Everyday Questions About the Environment.”  Here are some of the intriguing questions posed – and answered – in this book.  “Are ‘silver’ dental fillings, which contain mercury, toxic?”  “I’ve been hearing that wind power is going to play a significant role in our energy future.  But doesn’t it kill a lot of birds?”  “What impact does mining for diamonds and other gems have on the environment?”  “What’s behind the startling explosion of nut allergies among children?  Is it changes in the kids, the peanuts, or the processing?” 

I am not going to give away the answers.  I know, I know…sorry!  But, that will encourage you to go out and find this book and read it.  It is a simple format to read.  The chapters are main headings that are filled with questions followed by their answers.  Even the experts don’t know everything, so not all of the questions were answered to quell my curiosity, but I learned a lot and found the book interesting and worth the read.

Day 85 – Green Diet

The Gorgeously Green Diet

Check out this book by Sophie Uliano.  It is awesome!  I’m excited to soon be implementing some sage advice found in this book.  I am sick and tired of dealing with diets that push low-fat (high hydrogenated oils), sugar-free (high chemicals), and low-carb (high hormone-filled meat)!  Can’t we eat naturally and really focus on our health, too?  This book is the answer!

The Gorgeously Green Diet (2009, published by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.) boasts “nearly 100 ecolicious recipes” that help you “save money and the planet.”  Sure, the author tells us to exercise and eat right, but she also focuses on educating us about specific foods educating us about what words on the labels mean and what to choose when.  For instance, did you know that, “It is really important to buy organic maple syrup because nonorganic syrups use formaldehyde in the extraction process.”  Yes, she said formaldehyde – the same stuff used to preserve dead things to dissect in 8th grade biology class…YUCK!

It is important to learn our options.  Only then can we make better decisions.  The world has changed a lot, and I’ve learned that the pictures in my head from visiting friends’ farms 20+ years ago is not the same as the reality of corporate farming today.  My goal is to get back to a healthier life.  Who is with me?

Day 54 – Read The Green Kitchen Handbook

The Green Kitchen Handbook

 This book has great information throughout the entire book.  I highly recommend reading it!  From pesticides to irradiate foods, from food packaging to food coloring, and from food preservation to natural cleaning solutions that you can make at home this book is all you need to get going on a long path to a healthier, greener kitchen life.

I am hard-pressed to pick just one quote from this book for you, but here goes.  From the chapter titled, “An Ecological Kitchen,” here is a quote from pages 227-228 about pest control.  “Pesticides have many health consequences, and their use in and around the home is linked to increased risk of leukemia in children…[To eradicate] Ants[,] In a bowl, mix one cup borax, one cup sugar, and three cups water.  Place a loose wad of toilet paper into four screw-top jars that are about the size of shallow marinated artichoke jars.  Pour the mixture into the jars until it is about one inch from the top.  Screw the lids on the jars, and with a hammer and nail,  make four to eight holes in the lid.  Place the jars in areas where you have ants, and watch them line up in rows to march in.  Keep away from children.”

This book is written by Annie Berthold-Bond and has a foreword by Meryl Streep.  The ISBN number is 0-06-095186-9.  I have checked it out from the library several times, but it may be one that I purchase because I need to reference the material often.  Happy reading!

Day 32 – A Slice of Organic Life

A Slice of Organic Life by Sheherazade Goldsmith

From the practical “Grow Salad Leaves in a Window Box” to the more extreme “Keep Honey Bees,” this is an inspiring book with fresh ideas that left me with a feeling of excitement about plunging further into the depths of the green movement.  A Slice of Organic Life is filled with information, recipes, facts, and more with lots of colorful pictures, too, bound up with a fresh cover.  When I first read it, I could barely put it down to move on to other things.  I highly recommend that you read it, too.  While we can’t all “Keep a Milking Cow,” there is still a lot of information in this book that everyone can do.

Source: The book A Slice of Organic Life by Sheherazade Goldsmith

Day 3 – Food Life

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver


This book is a must-have for anyone on an eco journey.  Food is such a big part of our lives, and I’ve learned that the processed fast foods (and that includes frozen foods and quickie foods of all types) are, well, really bad for us.  You may say, “Duh!”  However, even seemingly healthy foods like corn on the cob aren’t what they seem.  I have to say that changing the way we eat doesn’t happen overnight – it happens one ingredient at a time.  Today’s tip is to read this book.  I’m interested in your feedback.  In some future posts, I’ll mention some specific ingredients that I use and what to look for on the labels.

Source: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
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