Practically Green

Mindful Momma and fellow Green Moms Carnival blogger Micaela Preston just published her first book, Practically Green. I asked her if I could have a copy for review. She happily sent it. So, you have full disclosure, I got this book for free.

PracticallyGreenI really didn’t know what this book would be like in advance. I’ve read more than my fair share of ‘green’ books, and I’ve liked some and disliked others. Some even left me feeling sort of depressed, as if the world is going to end no matter what and all my choices are wrong anyway, so why bother? I was really crossing my fingers that Micaela’s book would not do that, and I am happy to report that it didn’t. In fact, I really loved Practically Green!

Like I said, I didn’t really know what to expect. The first thing that struck me when I opened the book was how very pretty it is. I wouldn’t quite call it a coffee table book, but it is colourful, with lots of little green and orange boxes, as well as full-colour photos and diagrams. I am a sucker for the pretty, as you may know. The book also has lots of information on sustainable living, recipes, craft projects, and information on DIY greening like re-purposing old clothes or making your own beauty products.

Beyond the pretty, I really appreciated Micaela’s pragmatic approach. She says right up front that we’re not always going to be able to make perfect choices. But by doing our best, we are making a difference. Even if you can’t afford to buy all organic fruits and veggies, or have no interest in making baby hats out of old shirts, there are still small, practical changes you can make. And these changes will help your family’s health, and the health of the whole planet.

Because I am a full-service reviewer, I tried a couple of the projects in the book. My favourite was the recipe for ‘Power Bites’. I loved them! And so did the other people who tried them. Well, except for my very picky 4-year-old, but she won’t eat mashed potatoes, either, so take her opinion with a grain of salt. I fed them to some of my friends and their kids, and they disappeared pretty quickly.

Power Bites in food processor
Power Bites in progress

Finished Power Bites
The finished product

There wasn’t much new information in this book for me. I already knew about the toxins in many home cleaning products and the potentially harmful chemicals in cosmetics. If you are looking for new, ground-breaking information you probably won’t find it here. But if you’re looking for some practical tips on how you can green your lifestyle, it’s great. And while some of the information is US-specific, I still felt that the vast majority was useful and applicable to me as a Canadian.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that I liked this book. I was really afraid that Micaela would send me a free copy and I would struggle with what to say. Instead, I find myself trying to contain my gushing. If you are at all interested in sustainable living, and especially if you like the idea of sustainable crafts and cooking or making your own cleaning or beauty products, I highly recommend Practically Green!

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    Comments

    1. want to lend it out? ;)
      looks like a good read!

    2. Very interesting review and book. I think “practically” green is the way to go.
      .-= Francesca´s last post ..Creative eco-[non]packaging =-.

    3. Strangely, I have a thing for green books. Not the eco green, just the colour green. If you make a pretty green cover, I have a hard time not buying the book.

      I really like books like this that are practical and not hectoring. Also, I hardly ever clean my house and I’m too lazy to wear make-up, so yay. :)

    4. Great review, will look for it in the library (psst! it’s great for authors if you request their work in your local library).

      As for the making your own cleaning agents – meh! life is too short (!) but I have been testing out the commercially available offerings and so far Method (has pretty, minimal packaging) is on top. Am so hoping it’s eco credentials aren’t a ruse as this stuff really works (cleaner removes grease, laundry detergent which is super-concentrated, bath cleaner removes scum, abrasive cleaner damn good and gentle).

      Baby steps …
      .-= pomomama aka ebbandflo´s last post ..solitude part 2 =-.

    5. Are Power Bites a granola based snack? They look good.
      .-= Lady M´s last post ..Guilty Pleasures, Retroactive Edition =-.

    6. I can’t way to read it! Looks wonderful.

    7. You know I’ve always wondered about the VIM cleanser I use in the tub. I rinse rinse rinse it but wonder if it’s being absorbed into my children’s skin. I have used plain ole baking soda in the past and it actually cleans BETTER than Comet or any of those scouring cleansers. Note to self: Don’t wonder if it’s being absorbed, just buy more baking soda!

    8. Strange thing,just before I read your blog I was talking to my husband about making the Power Bites from Practically Green – over a dinner of Mexican Pizza Puffy! I made it with wheat flour instead of white and it was very good.
      .-= Condo Blues´s last post ..6 DIY Recycling Ideas for Non DIYres =-.

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    1. Snack Attack says:

      [...] and I will all eat. It’s loosely based on the Power Bites from Micaela Preston’s book Practically Green, with some modifications of my own to create a chocolate and coconut version. Because I heart [...]

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