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.
I 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.
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!