Book Review: How Green Are My Wellies by Anna Shepard
Being fans of the charming and witty Eco-Worrier Blog at The Times Online we naturally wanted to take a peak at the new book by the Eco-Worrier herself Anna Shepard. Recently published by Eden Project Books 'How Green Are My Wellies' sees Shepard translating her eco-agony aunt style blog, in which she doles out sensible and practical advice to the pondering public, into a domestic handbook for all seasons.
In twelve chapters divided into the months of the year Shepard provides "nuggets of wisdom" about various environmental themes such as January's 'Slimming Your Waste', March's 'The Tyranny of Clean' and August's 'How to Save Water'. The style is chatty and accessible in a homely way and as Shepard says in her introduction, "In my grandmother's day, it would have been called 'good housekeeping', the aim being to keep costs down and make the most of what you have. Today it is served up as eco advice, to reduce our impact on the environment." Small Steps and Giant Leaps
The subtitle of the 'How Green Are My Wellies' is 'Small Steps and Giant Leaps to Green Living with Style', which is to say that this book has been written for all shades of green. In each of the month's chapters Shepard gives two different suggestions of how you the reader can put her advice into practice, one for 'Light Greenies' and one for 'Dark Greenies'.
A great example is September's 'Thrifty Living' which not only talks about using your leftovers, switching your lights off and insulating your house, but also recommends that 'Light Greenies' "Swap to a renewable energy supplier," and 'Dark Greenies' can "Make your own power." Shepard advises investigating solar heating, photovoltaics and small wind turbines.
Breaking it Down
Each chapter also helps you with specific tips known here as 'Eco-cheats', straightforward reasons for taking action 'What's in it for the Planet?' and the always interesting 'Seasonal Food'. All of these little subheadings break down the book into bite sized chunks which mean it is as easy to dip in and out of as it is to read from cover to cover.
Show the boys how it's done
While Anna Shepard's writing style and the book's graphics are angles towards female readers there's no doubt that you can follow the author's advice and inspire the men in your life through action rather than words. Shepard's describes her boyfriend Gervase as "the eco-sceptic boyfriend" whose "attitude to the environment is pretty standard. Mild concern that flares up oncein a while, balanced out with a tendency to leave lights on and overfill the kettle."
This is an informative read that keeps encouraging you to take action whilst keeping it light hearted and fun. You can read an excerpt from June's chapter 'Green Love' on the Eco-Worrier blog.