Book Review: Ecoholic

It's hard being a TreeHugger. As Adria Vasil says in the introduction to her new book Ecoholic: "The tough part is that figuring out what's green and what's greenwash, what's eco-friendly and what's ozone destoying can be downright dizzying." For three years she has been figuring this out in a column for Now Magazine that we have used for posts here and here. She has compiled it into a wonderful book that David Suzuki says "is for people who want to do something to lighten their impact on the planet. The small steps cost us little in the way of effort, money or time, but the cumulative effects can be enormous."

It is similar in format to Leo Hickman's wonderful A Good Life without the frustration of the sources and links all being British. In this case they are Canadian but through the miracle of free trade most will be relevant to American readers. Adria is a talented, funny writer and it is an easy read as well as a valuable guide and reference. (see subject headings below the fold). Of course, it is ancient forest friendly: printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. We agree with Rick Smith of Environmental Defence: "Everything you need to know to make green, non-toxic, Earth-friendly consumer choices – and to be a bang-up planetary citizen – is in this book. Its comprehensiveness is mind-boggling! My fondest hope is that a well-thumbed copy becomes a fixture in every Canadian home." ::Ecoholic

Now if only Graham and Jacob would get around to publishing the guides for How to Go Green, then Americans would have something equivalent. When the world’s environmental woes get you down, turn to Ecoholic – Canada’s best resource for practical tips and products that help you do your part for the earth. You’ll get the dirt on what not to buy and why, and the dish on great gifts, clothes, home supplies and more. Based on the popular and authoritative "Ecoholic" column that appears weekly in NOW, Ecoholic is a cheeky and eye-opening guide to all of life’s greenest predicaments.

The Best Green Products
For the home: cleaning and laundry supplies, furniture, linens
For renovations: flooring, paint, insulation, carpets, cabinetry
For the kitchen: cookware, appliances
For your body: cool clothes, jewellery, shoes, beauty care
For baby: toys, cribs, organic food, diapers
For the garden: fertilizer, pest control, patio furniture
For the office: supplies, equipment, energy savings
For your pet: natural food, flea control, litter solutions
For the fun of it: sporting goods, camping equipment, holidays

The Most Current Information
Avoiding toxins in the home
Buying pesticide-free food
Sustainable seafood, meat and veggie choices
Reducing energy and water use
Greening your love life
Keeping your home and garden pest-free without harmful chemicals
Green gift-giving and ethical investing
Choosing an environmentally friendly career
The big issues facing Canada and how to get involved

The Most Helpful Services
Electronics and computer recyclers
Alternative energy suppliers
Green general stores
Local organic food delivery
Incentives and rebates for greening your home
Local and national environmental groups
Household hazardous waste disposal

Also includes a city-by-city guide:
Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg

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